Trade Show Success Tools

As spring hits people begin to venture outdoors, enjoy the warmer weather, move into business trade shows, as well as plan for summer outings. No matter what you’re doing, being able to present yourself and your business in a professional manor will help you to make those tradeshows and customer appreciation events a success.

Just like most things, success is often measured in the preparation and execution of a well thought out plan. Do you have people you want to target to personally invite them to your booth? If you have an electronic newsletter set up with segmented lists, you can easily do that through an email platform such as Constant Contact.

BEFORE. The first step in having a successful tradeshow is being properly prepared. Know what new programs you may have to offer and have literature or video prepared to demonstrate your services. Know your talking points. Make sure your literature has consistent branding including logo, email, phone, and website information. Another great tactic for trade shows is having a giveaway. It allows you to collect an attendee’s information to contact them. It also gives you their contact information to be able to send them newsletters or follow up emails.

DURING. All too often I see it. The person running the booth standing behind the table, or even worse, behind the table playing on a cell phone or a computer. By disconnecting from the event you remove yourself from potential contacts which could generate business. You also close yourself off and make yourself less approachable. The best place for you to stand during a trade show is in front of the table. It makes you more approachable and forces interaction between the attending public and yourself.

AFTER. The follow up to any trade show is important. Are you someone who returns from a show with a pile of business cards that sit on your desk and eventually you put them in a drawer to be long forgotten? Then… next year do you look back and realize you didn’t get anything from the show?

By collecting business cards or asking if they would mind being put on a monthly newsletter you open a door for further communication between you and new possible clients. Be respectful of their privacy and be sure to not share their email or address with anyone. That being said a follow up, “It was nice to meet you, if you have any further questions please give us a call, email, or check out our website” is ok. It opens a door to communication and makes it easier for them to reach out to you.

Trade shows and corporate events are a great way to develop new clients and meet new people. Being properly prepared and engaging the audience will help in make your trade show season and summer events successful.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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