Beyond the Noise: 8 Ways to Exhibit for Success

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You’re ready for your next trade show or expo. You’ve created a booth to attract the type of prospects you desire. You’ve trained the booth staff and you’ve got the swag bags ready to hand to visitors. Are you ready to exhibit for success? Maybe.

  • Have you clearly defined the goal of this event for your business?
  • Do you have a post-event action plan for all the leads you’re gathering?
  • What will attendees do or be shown when they visit your booth?

All too often we think we’re prepared for a trade show and when we get there, we don’t have a clear plan. Pick one or two areas in which you can showcase your business at your next event. Introducing a new product, checking out what the competition is doing, or reclaiming your market share are just a few of the ways to exhibit for success.

Here are 8 Ways to Exhibit for Success:

  1. Introduce New Products: Have you ever seen a New and Improved product? Most of us have! I remember being a kid going to the local swap meet where the local magic mop guy was demonstrating the latest feature of his new and improves mop. Sometimes he even had a new product – a squeegee or sponge that would, in his words, change our lives. His over the top enthusiasm for a simple chore helped sell the product. Not only could we touch the product, but he let us use it! I don’t know how much he knew about marketing but he sure got us interested. Experiencing a new or improved product at an event is a great way to generate sales and get the market interested in your business.
  2. Facilitating and Nurturing Relationships: Do you go to events to see your friends or network with other business owners? If you’re trying to grow your business or nurture friendships, you do! Trade shows do the same for business – they offer you the opportunity to foster relationships you’ve already built or are establishing. Not only can you meet clients and prospects, you have the opportunity to nurture relationships with complementary businesses.
  3. Generating Qualified Leads: Qualifying leads is about more than gathering business cards and shaking hands. You need to learn about the other person’s needs in order to understand and articulate how your company can help them. You might not gain full knowledge from the trade show floor, but you should get an idea of who is a lead and who isn’t by asking the right questions and engaging visitors.
  4. Brand Building: Trade shows, expos, and events are an effective way to bring your brand to the marketplace and make people familiar with who you are and what you do. By being out in the community, you will build a reputation of how your product or service can help others.
  5. Level the Playing Field: If you’ve got the chance to attend a larger scale event, take it! Attending these events gives you the opportunity to see the same people as a larger brand in your industry. WOW attendees with your customer focus, make them feel special, something larger brands may not be able to do. Illustrate your team understands the products by training booth staff to answer a variety of questions; it’s another way to set yourself apart from the competition.
  6. Research the Competition: Are you exercising competitive intelligence when you attend trade shows? Consider it an opportunity to learn from the competition. In fact, some of the greatest lessons in business are watching others and learning what NOT to do at your event. Observe who has the greatest and least number of visitors to their booth – What are they doing to attract or detract visitors? For the most popular booths, duplicate or translate for your business and brand at a future event.
  7. Gain or Retain a Market Share: Ever feel like the competition is creeping up on you? Maybe your old tactics aren’t as effective. Maybe the competition has attracted a market segment that you want to attract. Trade shows can be an opportunity to get in front of your target audience and win them back with your unique brand of business.
  8. Test a Market: Rather than spending time and money on a product that won’t see, consider testing a beta version with your target audience at a trade show. Ask them what they like and dislike about the product. Find out what they would improve. Make it better before mass distribution or move on to the next project.

Exhibiting for success is about more than paying for space and showing up. It’s about having a plan for before, during, and after an event. Select a goal or two and focus on that at your next event or trade show. We’re sure you will see success!

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