After a few tricky years due to the global pandemic, now is a great time to be more active with your sales and marketing strategies and get your business name out there in front of new, current, and old customers. One way you might like to do this is via exhibiting at trade shows.
Whether you attend local ones or big events in other states or countries, these opportunities can provide an excellent return on investment (ROI) if you prepare well and execute effectively.
Work Out Your Goals for the Event
For starters, understand exactly why you’re paying to exhibit at an event. You need to know why you’re going to be there so you can see how to achieve the desired outcomes. For instance, you might wish to generate more leads, re-engage with current or past customers, build your brand name, or launch and get sales for a new product or range.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Plan
It’s also vital to take enough time to plan all the elements of your attendance at the trade show. You’ll want to book your spot early so you can get a good deal on the cost to take part and secure a prime position within the event space. The later you leave it, the more likely it is you’ll get a placement that isn’t to your liking and doesn’t help you boost your return on ROI.
Plus, the more time you give yourself and your team to prepare for the occasion, the better chance you have of securing favorable rates for accommodation and flights to get to the destination where the trade show is being held. If, like many people, you’ve worked out an expense management plan for participants from your firm, you’ll find it much easier to stick to if you book everything ASAP.
Planning early also allows you to book pre-meeting appointments or meet-ups during the trade show to speak with potential clients, suppliers, or other contacts. Plus, it enables your marketing team to advertise your presence at the event on social media and elsewhere. They’ll want to sort out collateral for your stand at the show, too, such as posters, order forms, product sheets, and more.
Your sales team will appreciate plenty of notice to ship goods to the venue to show samples on the day or sell goods there and then. They’ll also want to check that stock is on-hand for any items you take orders for at the trade show for fast delivery to customers.
Focus on Creating an Effective Booth
Another way to get a better ROI at a trade show is to make sure your stand grabs attention for all the right reasons. For example, ensure you have eye-catching displays to catch visual interest and consider catering to the five senses by incorporating taste, touch, sound, and smell. You might hand out lollies to browsers, have some nice-smelling candles on your stall, or have plenty of display options for people to examine.
Some exhibitors use microphones to announce great offers or explain their wares in a louder way, or run demonstrations to show how products work. Giving away promotional products can also help people to remember your business later on. You might have t-shirts, mugs, notebooks, pens, keyrings, or other items to give away. In addition, make sure it’s apparent to those who pass by what you sell and your firm’s point of difference.
Engage with the Audience
For best success at the next trade show you exhibit at, also focus on engaging with the audience that attends. You or the team members running the stand each day need to be friendly and personable and make people comfortable enough to browse and ask questions. You don’t want anyone operating the display to look bored or be rude or unapproachable.
Plus, it’s best to be proactive and try to draw people in so they can learn more about what you sell and what your brand stands for. Show enthusiasm about your wares and a passion for the business, and you’re sure to hook people in and get more leads, newsletter signups, or sales.
Other ways to boost your trade show results include following up with new leads or inquiries ASAP after the event and analyzing outcomes after each event to see what worked well and what you and your workers need to change next time.
Go to these extra efforts before, during, and after trade shows, and you’ll soon see a higher investment return.