There have been a lot of debates on whether trade shows are still an efficient way to promote businesses, especially now that e-commerce is bigger than ever.
However, given the increasing number of new shows worldwide, it seems like the answer is obvious. A senior VP of a multimillion-dollar company shared on Harvard Business Review that when they stopped joining trade shows, business declined because their buyers assumed they were going through some crisis.
On the other hand, it cannot be denied that competition is tight in trade shows. The key to successfully participate in one is to know how your business can stand out.
Conduct pre-show activities
Let your customers and other target markets know that you will be present at the trade show. Send them emails and announce it on your social media accounts. Sort through your database and say hello to existing clients as well as those on your radar.
Think out-of-the-box with your booth design
Plan the design of your booth as early as possible. Don’t be afraid to experiment. It would be so easy for potential clients to miss your booth if you keep it plain and ordinary. You can make your booth look creative and professional at the same time.
Have a decision maker or authority figure man the booth
The biggest mistake some exhibitors make is sending someone who has no power or authority to recommend or make a decision to man the booth. You are expecting to close deals right there and then, so how can you do so if the person in the booth is clueless? Also, as what John Ruhlin, founder and CEO of Ruhlin Group, cites on Entrepreneur, your company leaders should also feel free to go out of the booth, hand people business cards, and mingle with those who pass by the booth.
Make a good impression with your promotional materials
Your booth must be equipped with marketing collaterals that tell your prospective clients who you are, what you do, how you can help them, and how they can contact you. Your materials must be appealing and aesthetically pleasing. Also, have an experienced promotional merchandise company produce the items that you will give away. These premiums will help people remember your company.
Don’t be a stranger
After the show, keep in touch with the people you have met and exchanged contacts with, whether you consider them warm or cold leads. You never know who will be valuable to your business sooner or later.
Trade shows remain one of the most important investments for any company, especially when you're doing B2B. While it can be considered as a traditional promotional method, to stand out and get your money’s worth, you have to continually innovate and find better ways to make a great impression.