Thriving at Trade Shows
Participating in a trade show is exciting and fun, and it is also an investment. You can eliminate some of the stress by narrowing your inventory of product choices. Unless you are a retail store, having a limited number of items, and a higher inventory can work in your favor if you choose the right products for your event.
One of the most important aspects is understanding the price-point for attendees. It can be devastating to spend a lot of money on big-ticket items, only to pack them up and take them back home afterward. The problem is most likely because the amount people were willing to pay, did not meet the price for which you were willing to sell.
You avoid incompatible pricing by researching the demographics of the trade show location, and it’s history in drawing out-of-town guests. Knowing who will be there is important. Once you are in sync with what the people expect for a payment range, it is easier to determine if that is the right trade show for your business and which products will sell better.
You can use local libraries to discover more about an area, and most offer online services to make it even easier. City or county clerks often offer demographic information for a nominal fee. Just as with any good marketing campaign, it is critical to understand who you are selling to and the level of disposable income available.
Talk to the event venue and facilitator to learn about where out-of-town visitors are coming from so you can learn more about those demographics as well. People may have a slight increase in how much they pay yet often don’t vary drastically in their spending habits when attending trade shows.
Another way to learn about the price point is to talk with other vendors who have participated in previous trade shows either at that venue or in the area. They can give a first-hand experience of what to expect.
There are unavoidable costs with participating in a big event, but researching your selling ranges will cut down on the expense and leave more in your bank account. The whole idea of being involved in a trade show is to create a winning situation for your business, not to be a financial hardship and stressful.
Service providers should limit demonstrations to one or two products in mini sessions and include a full menu of services among the handout material. A rack card or brochure allows the potential customer to learn more about the business to form an opinion on compatibility. The length of the session directly affects the number of one-to-one contacts between guests and vendors.
New product or service sessions will require a longer duration than one familiar to the public because of the educational aspect involved. Promotional material is key to providing information to customers when the seller/servicer expects to be busy with one client for 10 or 15 minutes. There is an optimum balance between getting the message across and getting the highest return on your investment.
A trade show is a chance to start a relationship with potential customers and showcase the essence of your business. Take the time to know the demographics of the attending audience to ensure the highest probability of success. Not only will you enjoy the experience more, but customers will use your business after the event and increase future sales as well.
This article is the sixth in a series of Thriving at Trade Shows as we prepare for the 2020 Alternative Health Expo. Check back weekly for new tips on how you can optimize the experience and make your participation a success!
Kathie Fingerson is the founder of the Alternative Health Expo which attracts thousands of visitors each spring to Grand Junction, CO. See more tips on creating a successful expo experience, click here.
The Alternative Health Expo is growing into a destination event for our community. Our March 2019 event was a huge success with around 4000 visitors! E.P.I.C.™ Grand Valley magazine launched their first issue, a wonderful publication dedicated to Empowering People and Inspiring Community. Everyone had a great time and learned about lots of new and exciting healing techniques.