7 tips on how to make trade fairs work for you
Trade shows are great for meeting current and potential clients and when planned and managed properly, you can do great business at these shows. Four P’s Cindy Parker has managed and attended various trade fairs and with the next gift fair just around the corner, she discusses seven ways for getting more bang for your buck.
1 Look professional―it doesn’t cost much to get some professional signage made for your business. Nothing looks worse than a few product photos stuck to your stand walls. Pop up banners with your company logo, information and few relevant product photos are not expensive and are easy to store and carry. Ensure everyone representing your company on the stand looks clean and tidy. Coordinating outfits or tops with the company logo and name badges make it easy for visitors to work out whom to speak to. Clear rubbish off the stand regularly and wipe over surfaces at the end of the day. Leave any packing boxes in your car or put them behind the banner so they are not visible.
2 Sponsorship―this is a great way to develop or strengthen your relationship with the association organising the fair. From the moment you sign on as a sponsor you should promote your involvement. Include the exhibition logo in all your correspondence to clients. Ansett was the official airline sponsor of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, however, Qantas used the money they could have spent on sponsoring on an intensive advertising campaign. As a result, most people thought Qantas were the official sponsor because it was their logo they saw everywhere.
3 Be the expert―build your profile in the industry by being a speaker at the trade show. Presenting gives you the perfect opportunity to share your knowledge. Make sure you invite all your clients and potential clients. Also, once you get your name known future clients will seek you out.
4 Let everyone know you’re exhibiting―create an invite and design a special mailout to your clients. Also, if you are going to have special offers at the fair let your clients know. This will put your business front of mind before they get to the trade show.
5 Exhibition special―offer people attending the trade fair a special on your products if they order on the spot. This might help convert some doubters into actual clients.
6 Get contact details―most exhibitors are very busy during the fair, which of course is a good thing. Make sure you have an easy system set up to collect contact details of prospects. Within a week after the fair ended follow up all sales leads. There is no point spending money on exhibiting if you don’t make some sales.
7 Wrapped lollies―last but not least, if you are going to have a bowl of lollies on your stand make sure they are individually wrapped. No one wants to put their hands in a bowl of jelly beans that thousands have done before.