Business marketing strategies continue to evolve and social media now plays a part in many campaign plans, but one thing that has remained constantly popular and just as relevant as ever, is the use of trade shows to find new customers and win orders.
If you don’t know what you need for exhibiting at a trade show, you can find out more at Nomadic Display and if you are trade show newbie, here are some tips to help you get the most out of the opportunity to expand your business.
Start out small
One of the best bits of advice for those of you who have not got involved with a trade show before, is to start out small and work your way into the concept gently.
Try to rent the smallest booth space available for your first trade show. This is because your first show will often be a learning curve and you will quickly get to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
As well as finding out how customers react to certain products or services you are offering when they come to your booth, you can also observe how other exhibitors have set up and what they are doing differently to you, especially if it seems to be working.
You will be constantly learning at your first few trade shows, so it makes perfect sense to keep your expenses low while you are still getting to grips with how to make the most of the opportunity.
Plan your space
You should find out as much as possible about the space that you have been allotted for the trade show.
The dimensions you have to work with are just one part of the equation. You also want to know where it is situated within the exhibition building, who will be occupying your neighboring booths and what access to lighting and electricity you have.
Knowing all these details will help you to plan the logistics as well as a strategy to attract attention to your booth based on who you are competing with in your immediate vicinity.
The space that you are setting up in will become a representation of your business image and professionalism for the duration of the exhibition, so you want to present your business in the best possible light.
A unified appearance is important and the best way to create a professional image that allows potential customers to look upon your booth favorably and encourage them to come and talk to you.
If you have specific corporate colors associated with your business logo, try to ensure that the color scheme used reflects that.
A mixture of different colors and furniture or display items which do not complement each other is not going to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, so work hard on creating a unified and cohesive image that show your professionalism and confirms you care what people think.
Try before you buy
Although you may be keen to get on with booking a booth and selling your business at a forthcoming exhibition, it can often pay to try before you buy, so that you can carry out some valuable market testing.
For those of you who are still nervous about taking the plunge and not getting a good response to your products or services because of your inexperience in exhibiting, you could consider attending a trade show to network with some exhibitors and buyers and see how it’s done.
The earlier advice to take the smallest space available still holds, so you could do that for a trade show coming up in the future but check out another similar event beforehand, so you get a better feel for what is required to achieve success.
Sound advice when starting out doing trade shows would be to keep it small and simple in the beginning. Once you have a few trade shows under your belt you will be much more confident and sharper about how to get the most out of each chance that arises to sell your business.
You will find that there are plenty of businesses who come back to the same venues every year and once they have established a successful routine and pattern to how they set up and operate, they make very few adjustments to their approach, especially if it is working for them.
If a trade show is a new experience for your business, it shouldn’t take long for you to find a way to make the investment in a booth seem like a worthwhile investment.
Paul Morgan is a business consultant. From money to marketing he shares his tips and knowledge with a wider audience at numerous business blogs.