4. July 2013 15:26
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A colleague and friend of mine, Tiffanie Kellog, the owner of Thread Art, a promotional products company, and I sat down to write this article because we see time and time again companies make critical mistakes when exhibiting at a trade show or expo. Companies invest time and money trying to put their best foot forward, and sometimes they just fall flat. With our combined experience, we wanted to write this article to help companies succeed in making a lasting impression and making more money!
Trade shows and Expos are abundant throughout the community, and can be a powerful way for companies to market their business... when done correctly. Unfortunately, many companies that have a booth to promote their business make one or many mistakes, which keep them from reaching their full potential for success with the event. There are several considerations when deciding whether or not to participate in the trade show, and how best to work the event.
The first step is to decide whether or not you participate in the event. A question you will want answered is: “Are the people attending prospective clients of mine?” If the answer is no, then this is not the most effective use of your marketing dollars. If the answer is yes, you will want to determine your break even point, i.e., how many clients would you need from the event to cover the investment of participating? Taking that number, ask yourself if it is realistic to gain that many clients from this type of event. You may need to ask the event coordinator a few additional determining questions, such as:
- How many people are expected to attend? (and is this a number based on previous year’s attendees, ticket sales or a guess)
- What is the size of the booth and what is provided? (if you need electricity or wi-fi, is it available? And is there an additional cost?)
- Do you get to pick your booth location?
- Is there a ticket price for entrance or is it free to the public?
- What other activities will be happening during the event? (such as seminars, demonstrations, shows)
Once you have all the details, you are better informed to answer the question: “What is the best way to stand out amongst the crowd?” The first thing to consider is the layout of your booth; this can be crucial in attracting people to you, thus giving you a higher success rate of interaction with your prospective clients. Some points to consider:
- Include samples of your product or photos of your services to view
- Display your company’s name & logo predominately
- Adequately staff the booth with people in proper attire with fresh breath
- Have the supplies to properly assemble your space (ie, extension cords, scissor, tape, fishing wire, etc) to look great
- Create an inviting space to communicate with prospects. Do not have the staff hidden behind the table, sitting in chair or have people eating, smacking gum, or playing on cell phones
- Don’t overwhelm people with too much clutter
- Develop a plan to engage the audience
Now that you know you want to participate in the trade show or exp, then what? Well, you'll have to wait until next week and check out the next steps at www.tiffaniekellog.com because Tiffanie will share part 2 on her blog!