If you have a product to sell, a business to get off the ground, or simply want to see where the market is headed, making an appearance at a trade show is a great way to get in on the ground floor of something big. It can also provide the perfect excuse for networking, client-building, and refining your brand identity. If you plan to set up a trade show booth, you can end up getting a lot of work done while meeting the best people for boosting your business. However, there are a few trade show tips you should know about before you begin in order to make the best of your experience. Not every business thrives at a trade show, and it’s definitely something that you become better at with practice. If you’re just starting out and you’re not certain about the benefits of trade shows, here are just a few reasons why you should waste no time getting your name out there as soon as you can.
1. Create Buzz
Your company needs publicity to get off the ground, especially if you’re providing a service that potentially everyone can use. But how do you get publicity without paying for it? One way is to use trade shows as a jumping-off point in order to sell products or test out new marketing strategies on prospective clients. You can use your trade show booth as a way to test the waters on a huge variety of customers without having to set up a focus group, and you can also use feedback to refine your sales pitch or strategy. Figuring out how to sell your product or service is half the battle, and by setting up a trade show booth that gets your name out there and gets customers aware of your name will help you expand the conversation. Before setting up your booth, create special social media tags and hashtags that will help you publicize at the event. Set up special “Instagram-ready” photo booths to help get visitors talking about you and tagging you in their own posts. Trade shows are a perfect place to experiment with different, wide-reaching types of marketing and social media campaigns.
2. Sell Product
Most businesses show up to trade shows for one reason and one reason only: To move product. Not only do trade shows hold tons of national and even global distributors that could end up carrying your service or product, they allow you to mix and mingle with a large group of people who are specifically there to learn about improvements in your industry. Being at a trade show to sell products and services is much different than cold-calling or blind pitching. You’ll be at the center of a show full of people looking to make their own lives and businesses better. Trade shows give you the willing ear of hundreds of new clients or distributors. All you need to do to make it count is to create branding imagery and a display that’s guaranteed to catch their eye.
3. Plan for the Future
Trade shows aren’t just for people in the field who want to create better products or sell their services. It can also be a great place to learn about what’s going on in your chosen field. Keeping your eyes open at a trade show can key you in to new improvements that could help expand your business or make your service better. You could meet people you might want to team up with later on, or you could simply glean inspiration from all the different booths around you. Being present and alert at a trade show won’t just bring you new and better business. It will help you gain a leg up on the competition.
4. Arrange Face-to-Face Meetings
Been chatting online with a client for months? Have a hard-to-get distributor that you know you could close with if you could just get them in person? This is your chance. Trade shows bring together people from all over the country to meet and talk business in one place. If you want to take a business relationship to the next level or arrange a meeting with an impossible-to-contact entrepreneur you’ve been playing phone tag with, being at the same trade show will greatly help your odds. You can meet old friends and colleagues, catch up, and find a way to make your respective businesses thrive through a collaboration or partnership. As long as you’re open to sitting down with people one-on-one, you can use your trade show booth as a designated meeting place to help boost your business to the next level.