In “16 Trade Show Success Tips,” I shared how Winnie Burch, an owner and artist, fared at her first large trade show. Together, we compiled tips on the best way to work the experience. Here are other ways to make the most of your next trade show.
1. Don’t sign up for every show. It may be tempting to get your products in front of thousands of people at a time, via trade show, but those eyes will mean nothing if they are not your target audience. When the conference schedule for your industry comes out each year, take the time to evaluate the ones that will be most meaningful to you and your business. Always have a purpose for attending, whether it’s to make industry contacts or to try and secure new clients.
2. Make your booth attractive. At conferences, you will be competing with many other companies for the attention of the crowd. Take full advantage and make your booth “patron friendly.” Consider holding a lottery and raffling off a meaninful prize. Winnie, for example, raffled off a large print of her best-selling artwork. This engaged the crowd and gave her an opportunity to speak about what she does. Also make sure you bring signage. You can purchase banner stands at Print on Demand or tablecloths, product stands and other colorful items to draw people to you.
3. Follow-up with all leads. When you’ve engaged someone at the conference with your best pitch, they are excited about what you have to offer. Follow-up within 7 days to ensure the lead is still warm. Call people you had a good conversation with and email or call everyone who handed over their cards. Chances are, you may be the only one who has followed up. This puts you in prime position to win the business.