How to Take The Headache Out of Trade Shows

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We’ve all been there – Tired. Haggard. Bleary-eyed.

These after-effects of a trade show are not the only downsides.

To be honest, trade shows are kind of a headache. Your marketing team has to pack up product samples, promotional products, marketing materials, along with the energy to meet and greet hundreds or even thousands of attendees – with absolutely no guarantee that it will translate into high sales once the show is over – even if you get high traffic at your booth.

It’s not only hard to stand out from other exhibitors at a trade show, but it’s also hard to get potential prospects to remember your brand after they leave the show. The trick to taking the headache out of the trade show experience involves a number of steps.

From Trade Show Headache to Trade Show Bliss

Here’s how to make your trade show investments pay off:

  • Only go to the trade shows that target your primary audience. If your target buyers aren’t in the audience, it’s not worth going.
  • Create a plan for your booth display early on. Get creative about staging and colors to stand out from the crowd.
  • Make a plan to develop marketing materials and press releases or kits early on, so your company will be included in the program information released to attendees.
  • Set up as many appointments as possible with radio and newspaper reporters who will be at the show to help spread the word about your brand.
  • Don’t just depend on traffic coming to your booth. Spend time out on the floor, too – moving around to other booths and talking to attendees that may never stop by your booth otherwise.
  • Use the right people to man the booth. Your trade show team should be friendly, engaging, and able to talk to anyone.
  • Don’t sit when you’re on duty in the booth. Stand up, or better yet, mill around in front of your booth to make eye-to-eye contact with people and catch attendees that don’t move toward your booth.
  • Make it memorable! Research shows that trade show attendees like receiving promotional products that are unique and useful. It helps them remember your brand and think more favorably about your business.
  • Invite prospects to your booth. Before the event happens, work the phones and email and send out invitations to key prospects you’d like to meet with in person. Send out unique marketing materials like Smart Postcards, to your existing clients, letting them know about your upcoming event.

Trade shows can be hard to pass up, because they attract a lot of attendees that you may never otherwise have the chance to meet you or become introduced to your product or services. Even though trade shows can be a drag, businesses faithfully sign up for booths at trade shows in hopes of luring in lucrative leads and qualified customers. Make this the year that your business succeeds at trade shows. Take the headache out of the process and use these strategies to be successful.

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