Trade shows are exhibitions for businesses to show off their products and services. These events are an excellent way to get your business out in the public eye while connecting with potential new future customers.
While many business owners see trade shows as an effective networking strategy, they always don’t know how to maximize the experience for professional success. Take note of these dos and don’ts for making your next trade show one to remember for the right reasons.
Do: Plan In Advance
Trade shows are typically planned weeks or even months in advance. That gives you ample time to purchase cheap promotional products and prepare your pitch to wow the masses.
Use your time wisely. Shop around for the most competitively-priced promotional products, and don’t forget to ensure your branding is prominent for brand recognition. It can also be worth researching the best products to show off your business the most effectively, such as tote bags, balloons, caps and hats, and confectionery.
Don’t: Attend a Trade Show Alone
Trade shows can be busy places. Hundreds of people descend upon trade show venues to see if they can find products and services worth their time. As a result, there’s potential for you to be tied up with one interested party while another loses patience and moves on.
Whether you’re a solopreneur working alone or a small business owner, ensure you have support at your trade show stall. The more people you have helping you, the more contact details of potential customers you could leave with.
Do: Prepare Your Pitch
You can’t have a pre-prepared response to every possible question or comment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare a pitch. Write down a script for introducing your business to potential customers so you don’t become flustered or lose focus when someone new approaches your stall.
If you’re worried about forgetting some of the most important facts, write down your elevator pitch. You can then glance at it if a customer asks a question you don’t immediately know the answer to.
Don’t: Take the ‘Hard Sell’ Approach
You’re at a trade show to show off your products and services, hoping to sell them and simultaneously get your name in the public eye. However, that doesn’t mean you need to sell something to everyone who shows interest.
The ‘hard sell’ approach, pushing customers into making an on-the-spot decision, can be off-putting. If potential customers feel pressured, they may be less likely to return to your stall and your business.
Do: Be Professional and Approachable
Attending a trade show can be nerve-wracking, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro. While interacting with dozens of strangers can be tiring, being professional and approachable is important.
Dress in business attire reflective of your industry, and don’t forget to appear approachable. Use open body language, make eye contact, and smile when you lock eyes with people passing by.
Don’t: Forget to Follow Up
Many people attend trade shows to connect with business owners who have products and services they need. When you leave the trade show with a list of contact details, don’t forget to follow those people up.
Offer to send them more information if they need it or simply thank them for stopping by. A phone call can be the opening you need to secure new business.
Trade shows can be an effective way to get your business name out there. However, not everyone takes full advantage of them. Remember these dos and don’ts for your next event, and you might enjoy far better engagement and more potential customers.