Top 10 Tips for Surviving a Trade Show
There are two elements to surviving the trade show business. One is ensuring your exhibit and your show are a success, and the other is ensuring you make it through the grueling hours of the event itself.
Here are our top ten tips for doing both!
Hosting an exhibit at a trade show requires a significant investment. But the payout can be incredible if done right. Here’s what to focus on to keep your event firmly in the black.
#1 Properly Train Your Event Marketing Staff
These are the folks who will staff your booth, meet your clients, and network with industry partners. Too often, the practice is to just “staff it” instead of planning to staff it with the right people.
These team members should be familiar with your products and services and should know how to sell them. They need to have a clear understanding of your target market and the benefits your product provides.
They should also be capable of maintaining the stamina of the non-stop, smiling, and welcoming engagement of a trade show. It’s your responsibility to ensure your company is putting the best foot forward.
#2 Exhibit at The Right Shows
Where do your competitors congregate? Where does your ideal customer want to be? If there are too many of your competitors at one event, this is proof that it’s the right show, but it can also be more difficult to stand out.
On the other hand, if there are none of your competitors in attendance, it could be an incredible opportunity for you to make a significant impact, or it could indicate that it’s not a good audience match
#3 Leverage Media Connections
Every event gets some form of media attention. In many cases, it’s industry-specific attention that connects vendors and partners with customers.
Create a press kit that clearly communicates information about your brand to the attending media. Always use the opportunity to establish relationships with the press before key events and make prior arrangements for a meet-up over coffee.
#4 Pre-Show Marketing
This should not be the time to throw spaghetti at the wall. Use the weeks prior to your event as a runway to intentionally ramp up your marketing efforts.
Approach your pre-event marketing thoughtfully and strategically, not just with a last-minute tweet. Use your social media channels, take advantage of direct mailers, market to your email list, conduct public relations, anything you can afford the time and money to do, you should.
#5 Design Your Booth to Be an Experience
How will you attract attendees to your exhibit? What attention do they get once they’re inside?
Design your booth to create as much of an immersive experience as possible.
The color, arrangement, cleanliness, displays, and marketing literature should all work together with a cohesive message that connects with your audience. Use technology to your advantage but don’t overwhelm your attendees.
Now that you’ve planned your event to succeed, here’s how to make it through the trade show.
#1 Leave the Fancy Footwear at Home
Footwear is number one for a reason. Wear flat, comfortable shoes that your feet can withstand all day long. This will help decrease the stress on your lower back and keep your feet as happy as possible.
#2 Business Cards: Physical and Digital
If you already have business cards on hand, make sure they’re large enough to accommodate notes on the back. If not, and you need to redesign them anyhow, make it memorable!
Get an app for that! There are several free or inexpensive apps that allow you to compile all your relevant information and easily share it with a QR code scan or share code. Some events also provide this service in connection with your event badge, but it won’t hurt to be able to do both!
#3 Support Your Devices
Don’t forget extra cords and portable chargers. This is especially important when you’re paying for access to power and outlets. A high-tech booth may have budgeted for an extra outlet, but don’t risk it.
Bring a dongle or wireless Wi-Fi provider. The event Wi-Fi isn’t known for its speed and is often absorbed by a large volume of users. Circumvent this issue by bringing your own connection.
#4 Bring A Rescue Kit
This is an easily created kit that should include a few necessities that stay with you throughout the event. Make sure it has these items:
- Headache tablets
- Sanitizer or baby wipes
- Two pens and a small notepad
- A memory stick
#5 Water and Snacks
We all know you may not have time to leave the booth for lunch when the time comes. Make sure to have a stash of water bottles and healthy snacks to keep you going.
Go Survive Your Next Trade Show!
Plan and prepare your event and your team to succeed. For more information and support on how to design an experience-driven booth, reach out to our team for a consultation!