Appearing at a trade show is a daunting experience, especially if it’s your first time. You can spend months preparing for the event, but if you don’t know what you’re getting into, you might set yourself up for failure.
While making mistakes can help you learn and grow, you don’t want to waste your company’s resources by unsuccessfully marketing at a convention. A strong presentation at your first expo can help you build momentum for the future.
If you’re a trade show rookie, read our primer so you know how to prepare yourself correctly, have a strong presence at the venue and capitalize on leads.
Know the rules
Exhibitor Online explains that the first step is to read the exhibitor services manual for an event. This may seem a bit obvious, but some presenters have a tendency to avoid this practice because they assume the rules remain the same from trade show to trade show.
That reasoning isn’t true at all. While some guidelines might be the same, every venue has unique regulations. Additionally, the news source points out that show managers, fire marshals and structural engineers also contribute rules for each event.
Understanding what’s written in the services manual can ensure that all of your preparations adhere to those standards. For instance, if there’s a limit on how high you can hang your digital signage, you can plan to keep your audio visual rentals below the specified height.
Try to innovate
The worst thing you can do at a trade show is construct a cookie-cutter booth that looks the same as everyone else’s. Most expos have dozens of exhibits, creating a sea of signs and advertisements that attendees have to wade through to find specific companies. You have to do your best to differentiate yourself from the competition so you can attract attendees and generate new leads.
This starts by implementing cutting-edge audio visual technology in your booth. There’s a wide array of options you can use to create the best booth in the entire venue.
Recently, interactive hardware has become popular because it allows consumers to have hands-on experiences instead of just watching or reading branded content. Touchscreens, motion sensors and voice-controlled devices are all beneficial tools to have in your exhibit.
That’s not to say that you should ignore traditional hardware. Video walls, projectors and screen rentals are effective resources because they display your logo and other materials to ensure that consumers learn to recognize your company.
Don’t waste your leads
The goal of every trade show is to build brand recognition and reach out to potential customers. While some attendees might be willing to finalize deals right there at the venue, others will want to think about their options or negotiate later.
You can’t let these leads go to waste. Just because someone didn’t buy from you at an expo doesn’t mean he or she won’t do business with you down the road. Your sales representative has to reach out to these prospects and build relationships to further your company’s goals.
To streamline this process, consider using a lead capture system so all contact information will be stored in a single place. This ensures employees can easily communicate with leads after a trade show.