Marketing your business comes in many forms, from the marketing and advertising to holding and attending network events. A trade show is one of the most important events when it comes to getting interest from potential clients, and it is one of the most popular methods to getting your business recognized. Running a trade show or expo is much like running an ad campaign, your business is what needs to be advertised rather than the product. And the skills needed are, in some ways, just fundamental questions you need to be asking of yourself and the business, so what skills do you need?
Knowing what you want from the outset
Do you want to generate leads, market leadership, or are you hoping for more awareness? Before any expo, ask yourself and your team about what you are trying to accomplish. Having an established end goal will gather more focus instead of a general, unfocused outcome.
Get up, stand up!
Have you been to a trade show where the staff is just sat down behind the table, not interacting with anyone? There are many who do that, and not only does it look unprofessional and lazy, but you are doing the business a disservice! The company is paying a lot of money for you to be there, so get up! Rest when it’s over.
Utilize your personality
The most successful by-product of a trade show is being able to speak to people face to face, not by email or by phone. Use your personality, and after introducing yourself, using the most assertive modes of media to follow up with customers or potential clients. After they’ve put a face to the name or company, then you can go down the phone route, then the high impact mailers, followed by LinkedIn connections.
Pick a good location
Trying to stand out is the name of the game, whether you use color schemes that are unique or banners, the location is the first part of the game that you need to nail. When it comes to looking unique, you can get help from companies such as selbys that make banners, or pop up marquees. If you stand out for the right reasons, you are more likely to gather interest.
Who do you want to meet?
Who are you going to establish a relationship with? Identify who you wish to meet by title and function.
Inviting people to the event at least 3 weeks in advance is a good idea, and be sure to set appointment times during every minute you have spare. A trick to being memorable in this is to set an appointment at a weird time, 2.35 p.m. is a lot more memorable than being on the hour or half past the hour. Corner a meeting room if people are unable to get into the exhibit area.
Clarity is the best feature of a person in this kind of environment. There is no time to waffle on, just be specific and to the point. You don’t want to waste their time, and yours!