Trade shows offer a great platform for organizations to showcase their products to new prospects, interact with existing customers, and understand their competitors’ products and tactics, ultimately helping grow their client base and improve the brand’s visibility and reputation in the market. Clearly, events are worth the investment. However, to succeed, you need a formidable plan on what to do and what not to do!
Read on as we discuss five simple dos and don’ts for trade show exhibitors to create maximum impact.
1. Staff at the Booth: Choose the Best
DO choose your best staff when deciding on who would be manning the booth. Make sure:
- They’re able to clearly articulate your brand or product’s value proposition and present your products and services accurately
- They are aware of the company’s goals, the objective of participating in the show, and know who are the VIPs at the event are
- They are well versed about your product so that they can answer any questions on it – technical, functional and so on
- They have the right tools, for instance, a business card scanner app on their phones so that no leads or contacts ever fall through the cracks, integrations with CRMs or email marketing systems to manage your leads and run your email campaigns and so on.
- They look good. Here are a few clever tips:
- Give them an official attire or an attire that reflects your brand’s identity with your company’s logo and colors
- Ask them to wear comfortable shoes as there will be a lot of walking around the show that will happen
- Give them branded badges
DON’T show up unprepared – whether that’s having untrained reps manning your booth or not carrying your brand merchandise, products, and demos. Having staff at the booth looking nervous or just rambling away to the attendees instead of listening to what they really want is not going to help. Simple tips: ask your reps to avoid bad habits like picking their nose or standing with droopy shoulders, looking disinterested and so on! Improper staff attitude should also be avoided at all costs. For example, make sure that they don’t:
- Badmouth competitors
- Talk amongst teams instead of focusing on visitors, else many will pass by your booth and you will lose leads
- Keep sitting at the back of the booth and engage in personal calls or surf the internet
- Appear grumpy – no one likes to talk to a grumpy fellow!
2. About the Organizers: Find Out All Important Information
DO make sure that when you are participating in a particular trade show, you reach out to the event organizers and know as much about the event as is possible. Some of the questions that you can ask are:
- What’s the expected turnaround or footfall – do their events attract a lot of customers?
- Is the venue of the event easily accessible?
- How many vendors have confirmed their participation?
- How are they planning to promote the event?
- What are the guidelines and requirements that an exhibitor needs to fulfill to participate in the show?
DON’T disregard the placement of your booth at the event. For this, you cannot forget to find out from the organizers about the layout of the event. This will help you choose your booth location at a space that is likely to attract the most customers. For this, reach out to them well in advance as the best spots get booked quite early.
3. Attendees: Engage them in Conversations
DO make sure that those visiting your booth are engaged in good conversation about your product and business.
- Ask insightful questions – find out your prospects’ needs and discuss the product’s attributes and how it can help them
- Always make sure to get their contact information – there are business card scanner apps like ScanBizCards to help you do that with ease. The business card scanner app will help you to quickly scan and save contacts from business cards or conference badges into your phone’s address book, or export to a CRM.
- Plan your demos in such a way that you can address a large crowd and no potential lead gets left out if you demo to a large audience. For this, you can use display monitors, projection screens, or large TV screen computers for your demos.
- It is beneficial to remember what you said to each visitor as this will help you to add the personal touch when you are sending the follow-up emails. Hence, keep a notepad handy so that you can jot down important pointers with their names. In fact, ScanBizCards lets you add personal notes and even send intro emails, vCards and your photo to your new; ly added contacts. Since the business card reader app would have already created an exhaustive database of contacts for you, all you need to do after the event is to follow up and close.
DON’T over-pitch your product’s features, or talk about features that don’t have a use case for them. Listen more while talking to the attendees! Also, be brief while talking about the product so they have clear takeaways. The objective is to whet their appetite and make them understand you know their challenge and have a solution to their problems.
4. Sales Literature: Distribute it Selectively
DO engage with visitors to assess their needs, and then give them literature or demos that are relevant to them. Also:
- Pay attention to the quality and the design of the brochures. If required, have a professional design them for you. If you are going to be doing them on your own, choose a professional template and check numerous times to make sure that there are no errors.
- Set up a page on your website that talks about your participation in the trade show. On the day of the show and post the event, have PDFs of your brochure on your event landing page that can be downloaded – in case there are people who don’t want to carry back a lot of literature, let them know that they can download it for free from your website.
TIP: make these online materials form-gated so they can capture lead information.
DON’T make the mistake of printing a lot of sales literature thinking that you will hand them to all those who visit your stall. This is because most of these hand-outs might land up unread in the nearest trash bin.
5. Follow-up after the Event: Be Prompt
DO follow-up with your leads promptly right after the show. You can even keep your follow-up emails or sequences drafted before and send them off soon after the show. Here is where apps like ScanBizCards come handy. It would have already created the contact list for you. So, all you need to do is email all of your prospects
DON’T disregard the non-conversions. Some from the list of leads that you generated are bound to disengage and won’t convert into customers. Don’t cease being in touch with them. Send them newsletters and make calls to them once in a while so that their brand recall about your organization stays high.
If you are preparing to exhibit at or participate in a trade show in the near future, this list is surely going to help you. Not only will it prevent any inadvertent lapses on your part but it will also help to improve the effectiveness of your participation.