There are plenty of things that can go wrong at a Trade Show. It’s kind of like trying to put on a concert with 100 other bands playing simultaneously and some only a few feet away, which actually sounds kind of fun, right? Embracing the chaos is the nature of such large events, but there are always ways to set yourself up for success no matter the circumstances.
We’ve compiled six of our favorite tips for running a successful Trade Show and we believe if you follow all of them you’ll have a headstart on the rest of the field.
1. Get off your butt and be ready
If you are working a Trade Show booth and are sitting down behind a table, you might as well be holding up a sign that says “we’re not that excited about our product”. People generally go to Trade Shows with the expectation of interacting with businesses to learn more about their products and you have lots of competition that’s ready to steal your prospective consumers. Push your table as far back into the booth as you can and get out in front of it.
Put on a big smile and be ready to draw people in!
2. Differentiate from the competition
Sometimes it simply comes down to location, location, location. If you are able to pick your spot, don’t skimp. If location happens to be out of your control, don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways you can grab the attention of a passerby. Here are a few places to start:
- Tell compelling stories/give awesome presentations
- Use vibrant and unique color schemes over bland alternatives
- Give away cool stuff, but wait to give anything away until you’ve determined that someone is qualified to buy what you are selling
3. Target your ideal customer
Before you even start designing your Trade Show booth and planning your presentations/sales pitches/compelling stories, define exactly who it is you are trying to connect with at the event. You can do this by creating customer personas based on data from your past Trade Shows or researching who your competition is targeting. Knowing your audience ahead of time will allow you to craft every aspect of your event around why they would want to buy your product and you’ll be able to speak specifically to their individual needs. Think like the customer!
4. Vocalize your unique selling proposition
What can you say about your product that nobody else can? What story can you tell about the product or company you are promoting consumers likely haven’t heard before. People love great stories and consumers are smarter and more educated about what they are buying now more than ever, so they don’t want to hear the same ole’ rundown. If someone walks by 50 Trade Show booths in a day, they are only likely to remember snippets of sales pitches and conversations they had throughout the event–make your words count!
5. Don’t be too aggressive
Be ready, be assertive and be willing to introduce yourself to people who are walking by your booth, but don’t be too pushy or overly aggressive. Consumers are sick of “being sold to” so don’t waste valuable opportunities by scaring off people who aren’t looking to be part of a one-way conversation. This can be a fine line yes, but being genuine and down to earth will go a lot further in keeping people around long enough to educate them about your product.
6. Be diligent in your planning
Depending on the size of the Trade Show, you may need to begin planning months ahead of time in order to cover all of your bases. Having plans for running out of product at your booth, filling roles if a Brand Ambassador or Promotional Model doesn’t show, setup and tear-down requirements, technological failures etc… will only help minimize the stress you’ll already be under on the day of the event. They say that winning is in preparation!