For most industries, tradeshows are the business events of the year and are treated almost like celebrity parties; anyone who is anyone will be there. If you don’t have a presence then your competitors will have an advantage over you, industry pundits may even question how well your business is doing and ultimately, you are missing out on meeting clients and establishing leads.
However, ignoring the politicking, how can you make sure it is worth your while going?
Firstly, you need to be sure you will see a promising return on investment or ROI. Every business exhibiting will be spending several thousand pounds in show expenses, as well as travel and accommodation, so it is vital that you generate as many profitable leads as possible. Be sure to establish beforehand how many leads you will require to break even in terms of cost, and then how many you will need to turn an attractive profit. Remember, though it is important to keep face in the industry, it is more important to turn a profit.
Next, before you attend make sure you have a plan in place – do not just turn up and hope for the best. Use social media to promote your interest and presence at the showas this will help you to target the best business prospects. Get in touch with your clients and see if they are attending, and if so, it is always worth meeting face to face to affirm relationships and possibly upsell on your current services.
However, although this is the perfect opportunity to meet with existing clients, you will need to attract and generate fresh custom. Your stand must therefore be immaculate and put across your brand and services to exhibition goers in a timely and efficient manner. Well-designed Pop up stands are perfect for this through making your exhibition display visible and attractive to passers-by. Establishing a brand with new customers is vital, and well presented, uniform leaflets and exhibition stands will help create the right image for your company.
In addition, make sure you take your most informed and socially capable staff along to the show. You need to make sure they can explain your services enthusiastically and professionally and are able to talk to visitors at your stand with confidence. Leads will be generated based on the quality of the conversations your booth staff have with potential clients, so consider going over some interesting and relevant issues which face your target audience with your staff before the event. This is because positive dialogues get prospective clients excited about your services, which will ultimately make them more receptive to your sales pitch.
However, the most confident and capable booth staff in the world will do you no good if you are pitching to the wrong target audience. Be sure to establish well in advance who your ideal client is, what issues they face and how your company can solve them. Remember, your product or service is not necessarily for everyone, so be sure to appeal to those who you know that it does. In doing so, you may find you have a smaller amount of visitors to your stand; however, they are more likely to show higher interest.
Ultimately, your goal at a trade show is not to “be seen” or schmooze with the big names and known faces in the industry, it is to promote your brand and attract viable business prospects. If you feel that an event will be a waste of your time and money then do not attend, as your resources can be better spent elsewhere.