When your company exhibits at a tradeshow it’s an investment both financially and of valuable resources. To ensure you get the most from this investment it pays to do your research and fully utilize the opportunity.
In this article, we offer you ten key tips to consider during, and in the lead-up to the exhibition, to maximize its success.
Key tips for a successful exhibition:
1. Choose the right show
You can’t attend them all as tradeshows can take up a large amount of your marketing budget and time. It’s important to do your research and make sure that both your key customers and prospects will be at the show.
Choose your location, size, design and messaging carefully to ensure your booth is inviting and easy to find. Make sure you’re taking the right people to man the stand, who understand the message you’re trying to deliver.
Let customers and prospects know you’re attending. Email, social media or even a phone call are great ways to let people know that you’ll be exhibiting. Use social media before, during and after to promote your attendance and engage with your audience. Try to get customers and prospects to follow you on your social media platforms, so you can continue your conversation online.
4. Content and collateral
Make sure you have the right brochures and material available and that you have enough, as well as making sure everyone has ample business cards. A great idea is to have your brochures at the back of your booth to stop people grabbing a copy without engaging with your staff. Having the brochures at the back means you can qualify people as they visit your booth and also gives you an opportunity to exchange business cards.
Tradeshows are a great opportunity to qualify potential leads, so have your qualifying questions ready! Have three qualifying questions ready that will allow you to get a gauge of the quality of the lead you are talking to. You want to maximize your investment in the tradeshow and that means spending as much time as possible with highest quality leads.
Talk to everyone. Get your customers to introduce you to others. Introduce yourself to other companies that are exhibiting. They’re in the same industry and those contacts could come in handy, especially as they probably have similar customers and opportunities to work together could be an option.
7. Capture leads
You need a method to capture leads, especially if the booth becomes busy and you have to talk to a lot of people. When recording leads, make sure you write down as much information as possible. It can be hard to recall the information later.
8. Organize meetings beforehand
Tradeshows are a great opportunity to catch up with customers and prospects and a great time to organize future meetings. It’s also a good opportunity for attendees to meet other people from your company, such as the owner or CEO.
9. Follow up after the show
It’s important to follow up with the leads promptly after the show - this could be a phone call or an email. Most likely the lead will want some more information and if you’ve recorded good information when capturing leads it’ll make it easier to take off where you left of.
10. Report and evaluate
Finally, it is good to write a report and evaluate how the tradeshow went. Think about what went well and what didn’t. Were there any ideas that you got from other exhibitors? It’s important to write all this down in a report that can be shared internally, so it can be recalled the following year, as it’s hard to remember the little things in a years’ time.