Your company spends a great deal of time and money on trade shows, but do these investments pay off in increased business? Proper coordination from planning through follow-up will draw more traffic to your booth and seal the deal with new customers. Here are proven tips from our trade show experts:
Before the show
- Set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Tangible) goals – research the show, know the audience, determine your objectives and plan your exhibit strategies.
- Hold meetings to be sure everyone working the event is informed and establish ground rules for expectations.
- Send pre-show mailers inviting current customers, potential customers and members of the media to visit your booth.
- Set appointments with current and potential customers before the show starts – you can’t expect business to just come to you.
- Take advantage of pre-show and on-site promotions through the show organizers.
- Coordinate staff clothing so that the entire team is easy to identify.
- Designate an in-house point person to handle all logistics, such as hotel reservations, airfare, freight, etc.
- Keep detailed and organized files for reference.
- Participate in the media room by providing media kits for the press.
During the show
- Research your competitors – evaluate their products, exhibits and literature.
- Be sure that booth team members greet visitors, answer their questions knowledgeably and direct them to the products or services you want to promote.
- If the venue has a media room, be sure the point person visits daily to ensure media kit availability.
- Take pictures of your booth and keep on file for reference.
After the show
- Conduct a post-show survey for staff.
- Follow up by disseminating information gathered at the booth to the sales team and track leads.
- Consistently track results from show-to-show, year-to-year.