Most companies understand how much they can get out of going to conventions and trade shows. To underscore this point, it is worth noting that the typical business in the United States will use about 31.6% of its marketing budget on trade show booths and other events. Every year, companies around the country spend about $24 billion. The problem is that most of these businesses have no real plan or way to measure how successful their exhibits are. These tips will help you have a better experience with your trade show booths.
- The early bird gets the good booth spot. When you are planning to attend a trade show or convention, you should get started with your planning as early as is possible. That gives you a chance to get the best space, it can help you work with graphic designers and printing services companies on your banner printing, will help you build the best displays for your product and company, and give you the time to figure out all of the details.
- Start your promotion early. You do not have to wait until the trade show or convention starts to start doing your thing. In the weeks leading up to the event’s start, a lot of companies will be around the venue setting up their trade show booths and getting everything in order for the main event. You and your staff should use this time to meet with other attendees. If you have been to the event before, you probably took business cards from the other attendees. Reach out to them and see if you can meet up early.
- You only have one chance to make a first impression. That means when you are planning your trade show booths, you need to really pay attention to all of the details. You need put your best foot forward when you are working out the graphics, messaging, and everything else on your display. Remember, you are competing against a lot of other trade show booths. If you are not going to put the energy and money into creating a great display, you should not even go as you will do yourself more harm than good.
- Give your stuff away. People love swag. Good swag will be something the people who take it will use. You should also give out fun items that people will wear. Some businesses find ways to make games out of their product giveaways. The more you can get people to interact with your staff and promote your brand by wearing your items, the better. You can even offer prizes to people who wear your goodies.
- Collect as much information as possible. The most important thing you can do at a convention or trade show is to network. That means getting people to sign up or drop their business card in a jar for the chance to win something fun. You should get contact information from people who work for businesses that complement but do not compete with your own.
- Make sure your people and you are friendly. The last thing you want to be or you want the people who work for you to be is cynical, bitter, or hostile This is where you send the people in your company who like to interact with the general public. The more you can make your trade show area a fun and friendly place to be, the longer people will linger and learn about your products and services. The best people for this job are people who really like meeting new people.
- Make following up a real priority. Even when businesses have the very best trade show booths around, if they fail to follow up with the people you met and your people met at the trade show or convention, the whole experience was a waste of time, money, and energy. When you get back to the office, send follow up emails within a few days of getting back. If you are on the road, send those messages before you get back.
You can get a lot out of your trade show booths, following these tips can make a big difference.