Trade shows are a great place for both punters and businesses to network and further their interests. However, if you are planning on hosting an exhibition, the whole process can be rather daunting, especially if you’re inexperienced in trade shows.
If this sounds familiar then fear not, here arefive top tips for exhibiting at a trade show in 2017 that can really make a difference.
1.Train Your Staff
You could turn up with the most amazing exhibition possible, with the world’s most inventive products and some extra gimmicks to attract extra passers-by, but all of this won’t matter if you and your team aren’t prepared.
No matter how great everything looks, your team still need to both know what you’re selling inside-out and how best to deliver your message to people visiting your stand.
Back in 2011, Malcolm Gilvar, who is vice president of Trade Group said on Inc.“Well trained staff is the most the most important part of your trade show experience. Make sure your staff understands and agrees with the trade show objectives before attending.”
- Network, Network and Network Some More!
While the most direct reason to host a stand at a trade exhibition is to present your product or service to people actively interested in your industry, there’s also more to be gained.
Trade shows are obviously also filled with lots of other businesses and industry influencers who may be interested in your services.
It is certainly worth taking a few laps of the exhibition hall, handing out plenty of business cards and chatting to as many relevant people as you can.
Above all else, it’s not that often you’ll get the opportunity to surround yourself with so many like-minded people, so the chance to network with as many as possible is one not to squander.
- Know Where To Spend
One of the trickiest things about organising an exhibition stand is deciding where to focus your budget.
Everyone has limitations and you don’t want to throw all your budget on some gimmick that may or may not attract people to your stand.
We spoke to Stitch Embroidery, a company that specializes in creating promotional clothing and other items about finding the right balance.
They said, “Lots of businesses make the mistake of investing in lots of promotional items without any real idea of how they will benefit their exhibition.”
“Often, this can come down to your product or service. If you offer a service, it can be relatively simple. For example, after partially agreeing on a deal, meeting or simply handing a potential lead a brochure, offer it in a handy branded tote bag.
“If you offer a particular line of products, you might see fit to splash out on something slightly gimmickier, which will ultimately set you back a little more.
“It may be your first exhibition but it probably won’t be your last, so you can always learn from your mistakes the second time around.”
- Create an Inviting Space
Another mistake plenty of exhibition newbies make is cramming their space full of items, products, seating and screens.
This article on Entrepreneur suggests leaving plenty of space for you to engage with your visitors. If the whole space looks cramped with just one or two visitors, it’s less likely to look welcoming to other passers-by.
Make sure you make enough room to entertain a few people, because above all else, it means you’ll have a better chance of converting some into customers.
- Don’t Chase Lost Causes
As Benjamin Franklin first said, “Time is money”, and this couldn’t be more applicable then working on an exhibition stand.
You can’t expect every visitor that visits your stand to be bowled over for your service or product, so you need to be able to read when they simply aren’t interested.
The key really is your turnover of people, if you feel that someone is showing some interest, offer them plenty of attention, otherwise, know when to politely thank people and move on.