When you have a new service or product, the next step is to let your target market know about it. You need to reach your end-users as well as key players in the industry (e.g. influencers, distributors, suppliers, sellers) and find ways to have them take interest in your new product. One great way to do this is by participating in a trade show.
Trade shows offer small businesses the opportunity to meet buyers, sellers and other industry movers; as well as build relationships with them. Trade show audiences are highly-targeted and includes those who are involved or interested in that industry. Some trade shows pre-select or pre-approve their audiences, while some allow the general public to attend providing trade show exhibitors a platform to promote their products or services to a broader group.
However, trade shows are not cheap, and require a lot of effort. A successful trade show not only requires time, dedication and precise planning to create a trade show presence that will generate the results that you hope for. A key element in a successful trade show is your booth: you want your booth to stand out from the sea of other participants, many of which will be your direct competitors.
Here are things you want to consider when you are getting ready to set up your trade show booth and display:
Know the Rules
It doesn’t matter what you get involved in there, are some kind of rules you have to observe. A trade show exhibition is no different. Carefully read and comprehend the rules and guidelines that the trade show organizers present to you. Address any rules you don’t fully understand directly with the organizers well in advance. You don’t want to set up your booth and find you’ve contravened the rules, because the organizers may request changes that at such a late stage could affect what you’re trying to achieve. If you feel you may be contravening a rule of guideline, contact the organizers to get clearance in advance. This way you can be certain you won’t encounter any issues upon arrival.
Practice Your Spiel
Have a speech prepared which you can deliver to the people who gather around your table. Practice this speech ahead of time so that you can have it memorized. Take notes with you, in case you are nervous the day of the event. Practice your speech on friends and family members, to see what kind of questions will arise from your speech. This will help you improve your speech before the event.
Plan the Layout of the Booth
If what you are trying to promote is a new product, then have it out for display if possible. Allow people to use it in order to sample it. This way they are able to ask you any questions about it, and they can get a feel for the product. This will also have a larger crowd gathering around your table, in order to play with this new gadget.
Give Your Poster the Wow Factor
Spend some time designing your poster board of information. You want a poster large enough to be readable by people in close and far range. Do not overload this poster with too much information, as it will cause people to overlook it. Instead post important eye catching information that can be read in a matter of seconds.
Include Trade Show Giveaways
Many people who like to attend these kind of events, are often times looking for free items. They like to visit tables which are offering these things. If you want a larger audience, you can give away promotional items, such as pens, folders, notepad, or other similar items. These also help you advertise, as you can have your product and your company contact information on them.
Get Your Marketing Materials Ready
Along with the promotional item, you also want to give out a pamphlet or a flier. This is where most of the details, you did not list on your LED or poster board, should be. List some features and benefits that your product can have. To have people interested in reading it, you could try to make it colorful by going to a printing company.
One thing you need to focus on is on the lighting of your display. Bring extra lamps with you the day of the setup, in case it is too dark there. Often times the shadows caused by the other people’s boards and signs, could leave it looking to dark in your section. This is where those extra lamps could come in handy, in order to have it looking brighter.
Prepare for Cabling Needs
You’re going to have a lot of electrical items in your booth and somehow they all have to get connected to the power supply. Make certain you’ve work out how many plug sockets you will need and make sure you take an adequate supply of extension cables. Check out the distance from the main power source to the places where your electrical equipment will be installed. Take spare extension cables, they can fuse and then several items may stop working. Take a couple of multiplier plugs as well; they may come in handy at some point.
Have Back-up Plans
Don’t assume nothing will go wrong with your booth. While today’s booths don’t require substantially technical knowledge to put them together, they are capable of providing you with the facilities to use plenty of modern technology. It’s not practical to carry a replacement for every piece of equipment you intend to use, but it is sensible to ensure you items like a basic tool kit and replacement light bulbs. You don’t want you booth plunged into darkness halfway through the day. Having these items to hand behind your booth will mean that if a light bulb blows, you can quickly replace it.
Plan Well in Advance
There are a lot of things you need to do long before the trade show starts. Attention to detail is important, leave nothing to chance if possible. A well planned trade show means stress levels are minimized, you remain cooler and you have a clear head. In conclusion, while it’s important you and your team have a positive attitude toward having a successful trade show, it is equally important to take account of things that might go wrong. Meet with your team and get them to suggest anything that may go wrong so you end up with list of items. Now address each item in turn and find a solution and write it down. This means you have tried to cover every eventuality and if something doesn’t go according to plan then you are already prepared.
These are some things you want to focus on when setting up your trade show booth. Remember to arrive early in order to set up. Make a list of the logistics and things you need to bring days before the event. Most importantly, present yourself well and have fun!
Recommended Books and Products on Trade Show Marketing:
- How to Use Trade Show Giveaways to Attract Visitors
- How to Make Compelling Trade Show Displays
- 10 Common Exhibit Marketing Mistakes
- How to Craft a Compelling Elevator Speech
- 5 Tips for Trade Show Success on a Small Budget