Tips on how to prepare for your next trade exhibition.

Nowadays, trade exhibits have doubled in number and size, and they continue to grow. One reason is the increased internationalization of businesses and the search for new markets and partners.

Although making deals and signing contracts is an essential segment of trade fairs, their most important goal is to share knowledge. This is an exchange of information among sellers, buyers, industry analysts, journalists, and business people checking out the competition. So as an exhibitor, how do you prepare for your trade show?

Keep on reading to know more about how to prepare for your next trade exhibition.

Pre-Show Planning

Attending exhibit fairs can be costly, so you should have a clear plan and established goals to maximize the return on your money, time, and energy. Moreover, it is essential to study your opted event to know if it is the right platform for your business.

  • Set Your Goals
    Set established goals that you hope to achieve. Ask the following questions:
    • How many new contacts do you propose to make?
    • How many leads do you intend to turn into purchases or sales?
    • How much useful information on markets or competitors do you wish to collect?
  • Exhibit and Network Business at the Same Time
    Going as an exhibitor may be expensive, but you can also network your business as long as you have sufficient staff.
  • Planning Checklist
    There are several things you need to consider in planning, so make a checklist to cover them all.
    • Logistics
      You will need to reserve booth space, organize travel and accommodation, ship exhibit furniture and displays, translate important documents, and print business cards. Also, don’t forget to check the internet access, security, and fire regulations of the exhibit area. Make sure to know who to contact to assist you at the fair and how much it will cost you.
    • Pre-promotions
      Doing pre-promotional work prior to the event will help attract existing and new customers to your booth stand. You can use targeted advertising, social media marketing, and issuing personal invitations and appointments to encourage consumers to join you at the event.
    • Networking
      Anticipate that you might not have enough time to do everything. So group what and whom to see by priority. You can also designate tasks to your staff and put them into teams. Then assign who can host, present, and talk to potential leads.

At the Trade Exhibit

Your booth display and the persons you put in charge reflects your brand. Be sure that your team members have a deeper understanding of your products and services, have excellent communication skills, and above all, have high stamina since working all day long can eat up much energy.

Also, plan a display booth that will surely capture a visitor’s attention. Place promotional freebies towards the back of the stand so that people will not be pressured when entering your booth. Moreover, make sure that your receiving space is warm and cozy.

As an exhibitor and owner of the business, you are not only manning the display. You are the display. Visitors can get their first impression of you within five seconds by simply observing your body language, attitude, and appearance. Hence, it is essential to take the following points to market your personality.

  • Be Presentable
    Let’s face it, physical appearance counts. This includes your clothing, haircut, make-up, or aftershave. How you present yourself shows who you are, how you feel about yourself, and what you want other people to know about you.
  • Be Open
    You have to look approachable. A smile and open body language convey a warm personality and friendliness. An unnatural smile, hands in pockets, or folded arms can turn people off.
  • Be Welcoming
    Visitors want to feel welcomed into your booth space. Create a comfortable receiving area so your visitors spend more time at your booth.
  • Be Professional
    Instill professionalism by building rapport and being courteous at the same time.
  • The Don’ts for Booth Staff
    You also have to remember the following don’ts to avoid them from happening at the event.
    • Don’t use conversation openers, like “Can I help you?”
    • Don’t be pushy. Let the visitors have a little look around first before you approach them.
    • Don’t jump into-pre-prepared speech; instead, respond to the attendees’ needs.
    • Don’t wait to complete the visitor records. Be sure to have the write information by writing everything down immediately.

Post-Show Follow-up

Making a follow-up after the trade exhibit is essential. Your business’ capability to do follow-ups will effectively determine the success of your attendance at the event. Be clear on who will do the follow-up, how soon after the event, and how it will be done.

After the trade show, you can write a short report about your whole trade show experience, including the problems that arose, goals achieved, new things learning, and will it be worthy of going to another event again.

Conclusion

Attending trade show events will cost you a lot of money, time, and effort. This is the reason why you need to do in-depth planning before jumping into such decisions. However, trade fairs are good marketing investments as they are excellent opportunities to generate more sales and network your business. As long as you are well-prepared, follow the do’s and don’ts at the trade fair, and make a fast follow-up, your attendance will be worth it.