Are you preparing for an upcoming product showcase, trade show or marketing event? With all of them comes a bubbling feeling of excitement about the opportunities ahead — accompanied by subconsciously-driven stress and paranoia about the things that could go wrong.
While some aspects of a trade show can seem relatively painless on the surface, underneath it all are the countless hours of preparation and planning that goes into every successful exhibit. You need to have total control of your booth to ensure that no mistakes are made.
But, even when it seems like everything is running smoothly, one problem can arise and send it all hurtling downhill in a flash. In order to help you prepare for anything that could go wrong, be forgotten or just become a general annoyance, we’ve compiled this checklist to help you prepare for your event.
Here are 10 essential tactics to implement at your next big show:
Ask Questions Instead of Pitching
When everyone else at the convention is “pitching” their product, ask the prospect questions instead. Having a conversation with someone means that you’re genuinely interested in the other person. If you connect with them on a personal level, they’ll actually ask for your pitch as a form of reciprocation. And once you have their attention you can present them with a sales proposition.
Stand, Do NOT Sit
When you sit at your trade show booth, it makes you come off as bored, uninviting and generally uninterested. It’s imperative that you stand so that you can better engage the prospect at eye level. Get rid of the chairs so that you can make a stronger impact.
Have a Stellar Demo
A live demonstration is the best way to get a consumer to remember your brand. It’s more effective than any promotional giveaway, swag or tagline you can come up with. A demo makes the experience more memorable — ensure that you display your offering on a large projector screen or have a product available for hands-on testing.
Make Notes on Business Cards
Any trade show or conference provides the opportunity to collect an exorbitant amount of business cards. But, with the high volume of cards that you receive, it can be tough to remember the important details about a particular prospect. Make notes on those cards that you receive to give yourself mental reminders of who you talked with and what you talked about.
Capture LinkedIn Connections
Most people will accept your connection if they’re aware of your brand. Meeting people at trade shows will give you the perfect opportunity to build your online network. Take advantage of people’s willingness to connect on LinkedIn, especially if you’ve just met them.
Don’t be Stagnant
If you’re not venturing out into the aisle, walking the floor and visiting your neighbors, you won’t be as effective at drawing people into your display. To break out of your space, set up one of your booth staff in the aisle to draw people in, and one behind the counter or table to inform them of the necessary information once they’re there.
Understand Why You’re There
Are you there to build brand awareness or to convert attendees? Understanding the reason why you’re participating in the trade show will help exhibitors conduct their jobs with more efficiency. Should they be pushing brochures to expand brand reach or pushing product sales to grow revenue?
Have a Clear Call to Action
Having a clear CTA will help your booth stand out from the rest. When people can immediately understand your offer, they’re more inclined to flock to your booth. You cannot afford to have a muddled message. When you confuse the audience, you’re isolating those consumers who may want to actually do business with you.
Choose Quality over Quantity
It’s great to get your brand in front of as many people as possible — but just because someone knows who you are, doesn’t mean you’ll make sales. The quality of your leads is much more important than the quantity. Have meaningful conversations with a select amount of people and they’ll become much more valuable customers over a lifespan.
Decide if a Booth Is Really for You
Sometimes, your presence can play a more important role at an event over hosting an entire booth. Your attendance can often be more valuable than putting together an entire exhibit. Whenever you go to a conference or trade show, you’re likely to learn more about how the industry is operating, what your competitors are doing and the available opportunities you can take advantage of.
Good Luck with Your Show!
When preparing for an upcoming trade show, make sure you’re ready for any challenges that may be ahead. Instead of stressing out over what could go wrong, follow this checklist to ensure that you have all your bases covered. And if you need some help along the way, just give GES a call — our experts will help make your next exhibit or show a success. Best of luck with your event!