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Getting ready for your first trade show and don’t know where to begin? Keep these tips in mind to have a painless trade show experience! 

Establish Your Goals

Before you even think about what trade show to attend, you need to set your goals. Are you launching a new product? What do you hope to gain from face-to-face interaction with potential customers? Are you trying to reach a new customer base? Trying to expand your geological footprint? Whatever your reasons for exhibiting at a trade show, make sure you use articulate these reasons to each and every visitor that walks into your booth on the trade show floor.

Register Early

Take advantage of early bird pricing by reserving your exhibit space early. This will help you, in the long run, to give you wiggle room for surprise expenses that may arise in the near future. You are also able to have more time when it comes to booth design and planning. To set yourself up for success, be aware of any important deadlines that may emerge. So you don’t forget these important deadlines, set reminders for yourself so you don’t miss out on any early registration discounts, events, services, or sponsorships.

Preplan For Everything

You can obtain better deals from exhibit houses is you plan further in advance. If your trade show exhibit design house is less rushed, they are more likely to create a trade show strategy that will maximize your sales and leads. Planning in advance has never been a bad thing! People only suffer from waiting until the last minute, nobody has ever suffered for planning in advance. If you wait until the last minute, many things can arise such as surcharges, after show billing, rush fees, a poor return on investment and the absence of a cohesive strategy. As a newbie, do yourself a favor and plan your trade show appearance in advance! To adequately prepare, give yourself anywhere from 6 to 9 months to be ready for your appearance.

Train Your Trade Show Booth Staff

If you haven’t considered this already, there will be a lot of competition for you on the trade show floor. It could be an eye opener for your company if your staff is not trained properly. Patrons need a reason to stop by your booth. You only have seconds to make an impression and interest the customer if you are successfully able to get them inside your booth. If you’re not prepared with an elevator pitch to give these people, your time could be squandered on the show floor. Choose your trade show staff accordingly! Leave behind those who do not know your brand’s end game or are not effective communicators. You need individuals with confidence, knowledge, and an outgoing personality to work the booth of your first trade show.

Use the Attendee List

Attendee lists are provided by many shows prior to the event. Utilize this list to your advantage and carefully determine which of the attendees would most likely be interested in your goods or services. You are also able to reach out to these attendees through social media or via email to promote the event and your booth. Exercise caution when contacting these individuals by avoiding spam like messaging tactics. Keep the messages engaging and personal to gauge their interest in your business.

Use Your Booth Number

Advertise your booth number on all pre-show promotional materials. This will be the easiest way to ensure attendees who are interested in your business are able to locate your booth on the day of the event. This will also help drive traffic to your booth.

Don’t be afraid to lean on experts so you are able to fully understand all of the options that are available to you! From custom trade show booths to exhibit rentals, you will find a creative solution that fits in your budget!

Generate Quality Leads

The purpose of exhibiting at a trade show is all about growing your business. Engaging the trade show attendees and connecting with them in a memorable way and proving your company’s value while at the exhibit hall will help build your list of potential prospects for your business. At every trade show, exhibitors ask for attendees contact information as a way of generating leads. Engaging with these individuals in a meaningful way and providing a unique way for them to opt into providing their information will help you generate a higher level of prospects. If you happen to have a great connection on site with a highly motivated attendee, make a point to grab coffee after exhibit hours to continue the conversation. Engaging with the attendees isn’t all about being salesy, engage with the potential customer first and sell to them later. Keep in mind that after the trade show, follow up is key! After the show is over, trade show activity does not stop. Have a clear set of post-show follow-up actions in place to foster the relationships you have created at the show and convert those leads into sales. Keep in mind, it isn’t about the number of badges you scan, but the relationships built to propel your company forward. 

Keep these tips in mind and have a successful first show! ​

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