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It's Showtime!

Ten tips for a successful trade show.

We all know trade shows are great for promoting your business or organization to specific markets. Booking the booth and attending the event is the easy part, while succeeding at interacting with potential buyers requires some careful thought. Keep these tips in mind when planning for your next show.

  • Focus on your objectives: Knowing in advance what your objectives are for attending the show will help you achieve your goals. What do you want potential clients to know about your company? How will you get your message across? How many new customers do you want? By giving yourself a few objectives for the event, you'll be in a better position to measure your success once the show is over.
  • Read the trade show manual. To help you plan better, read the show manual as soon as you can. These manuals usually provide exhibitors with everything they need to know, like the floor plan, the schedule, exhibit specifications and other important details.
  • Location, location, location. Make sure you book well in advance so you can get a booth as close to the main walkway as possible – it's important to be near high-traffic areas. The more people walk by your booth, the greater chance they'll stop and look at what you have to offer.
  • Think quality when choosing your display. The most important thing to do is to make sure that your booth stands out from the competition. Your displays need to be purposefully designed so they can achieve a good return on your investment. Good display design starts with a well-built structure, using well-engineered materials that should reflect the quality standards of your company.
  • Simple is effective. During a busy show, you only have a few seconds to attract the passerby's attention. Your goal should be to organize your space to make it easy for people to decide if they will visit your booth. Too much clutter will confuse and overwhelm them and some won't stop just because it takes too long to figure out what you are offering.
  • Communicate visually with graphics. A well-built display can accommodate well-designed graphics and images, high-resolution printing and good lighting. Even before you say a single word, your exhibit should clearly communicate your key message. With visually appealing graphics communicating a clear message, you will attract more prospects to your booth and have a better chance of interacting with them.
  • Practice your pitch. With your stunning display, people will certainly flock to your booth. You will meet a lot of potential clients and it's now your job to turn these prospects into clients. First of all, you need to practice your sales pitch and prepare a few opening lines that will help you make a good first impression, and deliver your unique offer with confidence!
  • Know your products. Yes of course, it's important for you to smile and interact pleasantly with everyone that comes to your booth, but more importantly, knowing everything about your products and services is a must if you want to answer any potential client's questions.
  • Promotional material. Designing the right promotional materials to complement your show's theme is important to determine the success of attending the event. There should be an area in your booth for brochures and other printed materials. Another way to boost traffic is to inform your existing customers that you are attending a show in their area.
  • Collect and analyze the info. It's always a good idea to collect information and take personal notes during the trade show while it's still fresh in your mind. Once you're back at the office, you can analyze that information and follow up with your potential clients.
Following these 10 tips can help you prepare ahead of time. By focusing on what's important, you'll be on your way to trade show success!

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