Thriving at Trade Shows:
What you need to know
Trade show participants sometimes find frustration that all of their work and involvement did not contribute to their revenue or gain future clients. It begs the question, why?
Quite often, a vendor will participate in a trade show with high hopes but no strategy or goal. It takes more than hope to be successful; you need to what you are trying to accomplish so you can create a plan on how to get there.
There are two main components to participating in a trade show; the event planning and the interactions with visitors while there. You can have all your ducks in a row before you get there; theme, strategy, logistics, etc., but if you don’t interact with the visitors well, you will not close the deal. Period.
Preparing for a successful trade show requires thinking ahead about what you need when you need it, and making it easier to access. If you take the time to create a logistical plan, the event transport, setup, and breakdowns become more effective.
When you walk into a store or visit an online retailer, how many times are you drawn to something that you weren’t thinking about earlier? What is it that grabs your attention, and how can you recreate that effect for visitors at a trade show? Let’s dive a little deeper to unravel the mystery.
Most trade show facilitators provide some form of promotion for the event; however, this does not mean you should leave everything to them. Your business has its internal source of clients and leads, and you want to tell them you are participating in the event.
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.
When you participate in a trade show, it is necessary to have a theme for the goal you are trying to accomplish. An educational booth has different materials that a service booth or a product booth, and each has its nuance in logistics, strategy, and transactions.
So, you committed to doing the show! Congratulations, but don't relax quite yet. Things are just getting started, and you need to prepare. The first thing I do is develop a timeline. How long before the show, and what do I need to gather and create?
Participating in a trade show is more than the space you occupy. The area you rent becomes a reflection of your business. It is an advertising piece in the marketing plan for your company. Talking points and ideals you project within that footprint must meet the standards of your organization.
It can be difficult to decide if you should participate in a trade show. The event is a form of advertising, and you need to evaluate the option from that perspective. Customers will flock to your space if you are aligned with their needs.
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.
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.