Thriving At Trade Shows – Monetize the Event
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.
What does your business want to achieve?
Service industries often struggle to find a way to get a return on their trade show investment unless they think outside of the box. The event is an opportunity to showcase mini-sessions while selling full sessions at a discounted or special bundled pricing. A package can be created just for the show, with a finite time limit on when it can be purchased. A special promotion provides the incentive consumers may need to purchase right away while accomplishing the task of getting new clients into your establishment after the event. The goal then becomes how many specials need to sell or how many new appointments to set.
Retail sale vendors may also use specials to incite visitors to purchase. It is common practice to create discount coupons for visitors to use in-store. A coupon brings customers to the on-site location and gives retailers an additional opportunity to deepen relations. The goal would then be a set number of coupons brought back. Using this type of promotion requires creating a relationship with visitors during the event, so they feel welcomed and appreciated before they ever go to the vendor’s establishment.
Organizations and causes should have a goal for fundraising or ticket sales to upcoming events. A clearly define objective becomes the driving force behind the interactions. Once this is established, it is easy for the staff to focus on what they must do to have a lucrative trade show experience.
An expo is a mega advertising opportunity, with the notable difference that your target is there in real-time. No matter what product, service, or education is provided, you must have a conscious reason for your company to be there. Here are some examples of why businesses participate;
- A new company is introducing itself.
- Introducing new products or services
- Increasing client appointments.
- To increase retail sales.
- Attract new customers.
- Provide education about a cause or organization.
When you have a goal, then you can set up a strategy for accomplishing that objective. To bring “X” into fruition, you need to create a plan of how you want to talk about your product, what information you will provide for consumers to take away, how to accept payments while at the event, and how you are going to follow up with new clients afterward.
Having a specific idea of what you need to do to be profitable gives you a chance to see what steps must occur to get there. It also narrows down what the talking points and types of conversations with consumers will involve.
Vendors sometimes make the mistake of wanting to promote everything they do. This is tough at an expo because there are lots of other vendors giving that same consumer a lot of other information. You need to funnel your efforts into one thing, so the visitor gains clarity immediately. Choice paralysis is inevitable at a trade show with so many options available. Increase your success in making the sale by being clear and concise about what you are selling.
You will probably need to create promotional material to support your bundled product or special. Make sure to have display items available. You will not have a chance to talk to every customer; displays provide a way for sales to occur without a verbal pitch first. Creating a website with a payment portal can exponentially increase your revenue as well. If your literature is well-created, consumers will use the link to purchase even if you are engaged with other customers.
There are a dozen ways for your business to monetize the event. Take the time early on to know what you are going to do to create a return on your investment. Then breakdown the steps necessary to reach that goal.
This article is the eleventh 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.