First off, it can be expensive to be a vendor with a full exhibit at a Trade Show, if you do it right. That said, don’t go if you can’t make a profit with considering how much you had to spend in the first place. It’s prudent to do a lot of sales leg work well before the date of the show. If you’ve attended in the past, hopefully you have some old leads in your database that you can use to call and set up new appointments at the upcoming show. Or, do some research and find out, if at all possible, who will attend this show and reach out to them in advance. If you’re going to take the time to attend and invest in a trade show, do your homework and make the most of it.
Get your best designers involved to make your booth attractive and in touch with the times. Your branding needs to be current with trends of the year, and all brochures, website, business cards, signage need to be cohesive and sharp. Be sure you have social links up and working, even see to it they are regularly updated weeks before the event. Also, double-check your business cards and make sure the info on them is all current. Here is an article that might help you, on the Basic of Branding.
It’s imperative that the reps who are with you on the day of the trade show are all on the same page; awake. All should be dressed sharp, and conscious in how they are presenting themselves each minute. This awaremesss is work, but it will set you apart from many other companies. Too often, people are “sleeping” on the job. i.e., they are functioning, but not really. Your team should engage each person that walks your way, with a genuine attitude of kindness and alertness – whether or not they are a potential sale. Be kind to all, and look out for the interests of others and the energy at your booth will attract others of the same mind. In this way, you’ll be greeting and meeting those whom you were intended, and your show will be a success.
Make sure the trade shows you choose are those where you can make a presentation. Be sure that you speak about your industry and the trends and opportunities that are forthcoming. If you have good content and are there to boost the business of others, as well as your own, you will flourish in your reputation as a business person as well as boosting that of your company.
Be sure to market the upcoming trade show. Again, remember, you want to have the attitude of one who wants the benefit of all, not JUST your company. This attitude draws people and all good things to you. You can promote it weeks in advance, months or even a year if it’s a big one. Write about it on your current and up-to-date blog, and send the links throughout your social media network. Have brochures made and mail them to whatever lead lists you have, and do whatever PR possible through word of mouth as you have business meetings and luncheons with others in your field.
So, these are the very basics, but very doable and should be the minimum of all your efforts to pull off this next trade show as a success. Good luck!