As the new marketing coordinator here at CBR, one of my initiatives or goals has been trying to think of new and creative ways to make us stand out at trade shows. Aside from my own ideas, I came across a very interesting article in the Phoenix Business Journal about how to do just this. Although these were good tips, some might be a little too obvious and in the end not work out to your benefit. In business ROI is very important, so to make sure you get a return on investing your time and money into a trade show, don’t be lazy and do your homework when it comes to preparing for trade shows. Do what is best for you and your company’s overall goals. Take a second the think about these five questions.
Should you follow up immediately? Whether it’s someone that requested a full blown proposal or just gave you their business card, the natural thing to do would be to follow up right away. This is so you don’t forget the context of the conversation and so they don’t forget you. Although this is true, don’t come across as pushy. If the client is not a right fit for you and your company you should recognize that and move on. You want to be honest with them and yourself.
Should you have a give away or prize? At first look, this idea might seem like it would add a fun element to your trade show experience, and may make you more memorable against your competitors. Aside from this fact, you may get bombarded with inadequate leads and unreliable sources of business. This move might be pointless in the end.
Is knowing who is attending a good thing? One can actually purchase a list of vendors and participants so you know who you are up against, and who you might want to visit. On this one I don’t see much harm unless you feel like it is cheating a bit. The element of surprise might be more fun!
How do you know that your message is clear and succinct? Your company’s message should clearly communicate what you want them to believe about your company. Your messaging should be legible and obvious to everyone walking by. This is definitely true and necessary, but if you and the people in your company are the only ones to have seen this messaging their view might be jaded. Have someone from the outside of your company walk by your booth/messaging and have them give you their first impression.
How do you know if your sales team is ready for the masses? Although I am sure your sales staff is just as great as ours, double check that your staff knows what your goals are as a business owner, and that they are not slacking off and looking unprofessional at the event. Make sure you do a run through with them, so they know how to deal with all possible situations.
In conclusion, just have fun and treat the whole experience as a great way to network, market yourself, and bring in more business.