The Importance of Trade Shows
Trade shows can be incredibly fun events to attend. There are many reasons you should consider attending (and perhaps having a booth in) trade shows; in fact, 99% of marketers said that there was a unique value in trade show exhibits that was not found in any other marketing medium.
In today's increasingly digital world, trade shows can be a valuable tool to have face-to-face marketing and interaction with customers and other retailers. Nothing can compete with face-to-face interaction when it comes to influencing a decision to buy. Trade shows give an incredible amount of this personal attention to products and companies. In addition to being better able to showcase a product or service, the personal interaction makes each connection more human. You are no longer seen as another email to be read, but as "that cool person from the trade show". Following up with leads from trade shows is a great way to increase sales.
When it comes to lead generation, trade shows are unparalleled in potential. Remember, people attending trade shows WANT to be sold. Anyone who has been in sales can tell you that timing is a large factor in making a purchasing decision. Call an Alabama fan right after the Crimson Tide lost a game? You likely just lost a sale. (Sorry ‘Bama fans, you’ve had a great run overall though!). When people attend trade shows, they are a very targeted group of interested buyers. Be sure to bring plenty of business cards and be ready to collect some from others.
As you get ready for a trade show, remember that trade shows are a great leveler for businesses. In addition to having very low costs for entering, trade shows also provide an even playing field for each attendee - everyone is under the same roof as you are. It can be difficult to compete in ad spend against behemoth companies who have massive billboard campaigns, pay-per-click ads, and seemingly endless pockets of cash. However at the trade show, you can be just as big as any other company. This gives you the opportunity to get in front of a ton of potential customers and network for great potential future business opportunities.
Quick Tips for Trade Show Booth Success
We can't emphasize enough: if you are attending a trade show it is important to pay strict attention to detail when designing your booth. The booth could be hosted in a large amphitheater, or a smaller school gymnasium. Get all of the information you can about your booth. How big is it? Will there be electrical outlets nearby? How many? What about internet access? These are important questions that you will need to know in order to host an excellent booth at a trade show. Here are some of the highest impact tips to consider when designing a trade show booth (assuming these will be indoor events):
Attract and Engage: Social proof is everything at trade shows. If there are two different booths near each other, and a new person walks in the room, the first place they will go is the booth with the most traffic. It seems a bit counter intuitive right? Why wait in line? Well, social proof studies say otherwise. People are interested in what the people around them are interested in. Design your booth with some sort of engaging activity in mind. Something that will continually draw people in to participate. Perhaps it is a raffle or giveaway, maybe there is a competition to win a prize. Draw the crowd and keep the crowd.