Want to Make a Splash at Your Next Trade Show? Here’s How

tradeshow-imageAccording to data from the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 76 percent of trade show attendees ask for quotes and 26 percent end up signing purchase orders, on average. This means that if you properly handle your trade show experience, your company could be in for a great increase in the number of products or services sold. If you’re a new company, this could seem like a daunting task, but if you have the right preparation upfront, you can be a success. Here are a few things you can do before arriving at the show to ensure you walk away with new customers and new contacts.


  1. Understand why you want to go. Rather than blindly attend trade shows, understand your purpose for attending. Do you have a new product or service you want to showcase to buyers? Are you looking to network with other vendors to create joint ventures in the future? Do you just want to check out the competition in person? Having this purpose upfront will help you choose who from your company should attend, the materials you need to bring and who to target.


  1. Pick the right show. Every show that claims it is great for your industry won’t necessarily be great for your company. Make sure your target audience will be there. If you’re selling products, make sure the price points will be comparable to others in attendance. I have a client who sold handcrafted leather bags for $300+. While her products were great, she didn’t sell very many items because the other vendors at the show had products averaging $20 each. People loved her bags, but the $300 price point looked out of place.


  1. Prepare your materials well in advance. Do not wait until a few days before the show to plan out your booth, tables and other materials. Instead, treat this like any other client engagement. In this step, you’re first going to want to think about the type of booth you’re going to need. Some companies only need a small table top display, while others opt to give trade show attendees a full, interactive experience with connected shelves, banners, private meeting areas and more. Click here to see more options for your trade show display. Your materials should also include any business cards, flyers or samples you want to give away. Research the typical number of attendees and plan to bring that amount at minimum. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re in front of someone who is ready to sign a contract, and you don’t have any more copies available.


Want to hear about a small business owner’s advice after attending her first trade show? Click here for 16 additional tips on maximizing your trade show experience.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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