Expos, Trade Shows, and Trade Conventions are essential networking opportunities for many businesses. So how do you make sure you get the most out of this opportunity?
A Foundation for Expo Success
First, you need to determine what success looks like for you: is it qualified leads, industry connections, or a certain ROI for the show? Once you have that goal in mind, it’s simple to lay the groundwork for a successful trade show.
1: Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More!
Everything needs to be scheduled, discussed, and strategized well in advance of your show. Obvious things, like booking and outfitting the booth, ordering enough business cards to hand out, and scheduling who will man the booth are easy to prepare.
But what about the other trade show logistics? Who is setting up the booth? Are you launching a new product or service at this event? Have you put together a social media plan to drum up interest in your follower-base for meeting you in real life? Do you need to secure lodging and travel for any team members who are going to be at the show? Are you planning to host an event for clients and prospects outside of show hours, a “SECOND SHOW?" Hiring an exhibit manager is especially useful to ensure everything is thought of and scheduled, planned and accounted for to set your team in the best light possible.
And speaking of preparation, do you have enough giveaways? One of the most time-tested and solid ways to stay memorable for your booth visitors is a giveaway item that is useful, and has your logo and contact information on it!
2: Make Sure Your Team is Prepared
Aside from the obvious trade show booth staples of brochures and pens, what does your sales team need to make things go smoothly at their expo? Help them refine pitches and set goals for daily leads. Make sure the team knows how to use any of the technology and materials they will be using to demo your product or service, and how to quickly gather information from interested potential customers. If you are a B2B business, have a list of the businesses that will be attending that you want to target the most.
Before the doors open, make sure your trade show team is familiar with the layout of the event facility. They should know not just where the bathroom and concessions are, but also the quickest way to any vehicle or storage area for additional booth materials, and the staff office in case of questions. If the event is using badge scanners, make sure they are familiar with how to use them. The booth team should wear comfortable shoes, keep hydrated, and smile!
3: Post-Trade Show Evaluation
The booth is packed up, and everyone has gone home! The convention might be over, but one of the most important steps is still to come: The follow-up. Following up on leads. We mean the internal follow-up from your show team. All the leads need to be gathered, assessed, and entered into your CRM. Make sure you debrief each team member on what was successful, what was challenging, and what might be improved. You cannot control everything but you can decide if the booth location and size were right for the event, if the giveaways engaged visitors, and if the specific event was a good fit for you.
Those are the three main keys to a great trade show, expo, or convention. To help you make sure your next trade show is a rousing success, contact us today.