Thriving at Trade Shows: Ask the Right Questions
By Kathie Fingerson
Businesses will often look at participating in trade shows to introduce themselves and new products to consumers. Some will have an enjoyable experience, others who are underprepared will struggle, and mostly, overpay for the experience.
So how do you take advantage of the opportunity without regretting it later? There are 12 basics steps you need to take that will optimize your exposure and make it a successful promotion for months to follow. Start by asking the right questions.
- Is the event attracting your target market?
- What other vendors will participate?
- What are the pros and cons of the venue?
- What is required and supplied with reserving a space?
- How do you prepare before the event?
- Are you trying to educate or sell?
- How will you promote yourself before the event?
- What displays will you use for the table?
- What is the theme of your space?
- How will you accomplish the logistics of getting there, setting up, and breaking down?
- Should you sit or stand, and why does it matter?
- What is your goal, and how do you complete the handshake?
It may seem easy to sign up and go, and for many, merely registering is precisely what they do. However, with some planning, you can create an experience for event guests they will remember long after they leave. Participating in a trade show is your chance to start essential relationships with your new clients, make it a positive one!
A well-thought-out strategy not only ensures better results, but it also creates less stress, which translates into better interactions with the public.
Attending a trade show gets in front of your target market with the most "bang-for-your-buck." The event facilitator is providing the space and outside promotions to bring consumers in, but if you are unprepared, it becomes a lesson in putting out fires. That is not an optimized experience. Knowing what you offer and how you will present it makes a huge difference. Let's face it though, no amount of preparation will overcome being at the wrong event for your business!
Start by asking the right questions, do your research ahead of time and speak to former vendors about their experience. If available, take advantage of services provided by the event facilitator that will help you inform your clients and create a space they will remember.
This article is the first 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.