How to Make Your Best First Impression at Trade Shows
Trade shows aren’t just for enthusiasts and line-level users, they’re for decision-makers. Often a year’s worth of inventory and projections are determined over the course of one or more trade shows.
A strong first impression can make or break your success at these critical industry events. Here are a few recommendations for making sure your brand ambassadors and your team are prepared to be effectively memorable.
Focus on a Hero Product
You may offer a plethora of product lines each with its own heroes, but a confused browser doesn’t buy. Clearly highlight one specific product or line at your booth and craft all your promotional materials to match.
Make sure your team is well versed on all products but give special attention to your hero. This creates a cohesive representation of your brand and a positive, memorable first impression.
Reel Them In!
Idly standing around, chatting with each other won’t produce the sales and networking numbers your business is here to get. If your show allows it, walk around, and bring your customer to you. Or send brand ambassadors to hand out marketing materials and direct people to your booth.
Practice Natural Engagement
Trade show visitors expect to be sold to, but let’s not forget they’re humans, too. They want to see that you would also make a good business partner, rather than just a supplier or service provider. Try using trivia, games, or other prize-winning contests to gamify the experience at your booth.
Ask visitors questions and show that you and your team are humans. Don’t ignore people that float in but may not fit in your target audience. Your customers and other vendors are watching.
Invest in High-Quality and Exciting Booth Design
How your booth looks, from every visible angle, reflects on your business. Cheap or sloppy displays send a negative message and even send away business.
Custom banners and tents are a great start! Adding in branded flags, tablecloths, and swag goes the extra mile to present a polished final look.
You want your visitors to feel they’ve entered your BRAND EXPERIENCE, not just your booth. Create a memorable experience visitors will want to talk about. For inspiration, check out this curated trade show gallery!
Giveaway Free Stuff
Who doesn’t love some free swag? Curate a sampling of branded swag and free goodies to entice visitors and prospects to give you their contact information. Give the passersby something to look at that may spark their interest and entice them into your booth.
Remember that nobody needs a new pen. Keep giveaway items relevant and helpful to your ideal customer. Prove in this small but fun way that you understand the needs of your market.
A branded giveaway is also a terrific way to stay top of mind after the event and provide a tangible reminder of your interaction and your company.
Light Up Your Space
While booth and tent design are critical, it won’t matter if you can’t see it. If you’ve ever walked the floors of a trade show, you may recall skipping over a booth that was dark and gloomy, where you weren’t sure what they had to offer.
To properly set your products on display, don’t forget the lights! A bright look can be achieved inexpensively with bright and colorful LED lights.
Your Team Is Your Most Valuable Weapon
While the trade show can be a valuable training experience, you don’t want the new guy to be solely responsible for clearly articulating your services. Make sure you have a studied and skilled brand ambassador who can keep prospects interested and getting new people into your booth.
Hiring trade show models who have been trained to confidently address any topic is another lead generation tactic. They can help you capture more leads more efficiently and even pre-qualify them for you, so you give the highest priority leads your undivided attention.
How your team presents themselves is also critical for making a positive first impression. Smiling, well-dressed, and enthusiastic team members with a friendly manner are the rock stars of your team and crucial to your success at any trade show.
Be Intentional About Reaping Your ROI
It’s all about the bottom line. If you don’t make money at your trade show, what’s it all for? Show your prospects that you’re not just a beautiful booth and a friendly face, but you’re also a dedicated and savvy professional partner.
Sell it like you mean it! Show prospects and visitors how your product or service makes their life better, their customer’s lives better, and their brand better. Seal the deal with as many prospects as possible to enhance your brand and reach your financial goals.
To make the best possible first impression, reach out to the Exhib-it team for additional tips and resources!