Trade Shows, they are the love and hate of a lot of business owners. There is a lot of foot traffic and you either get the opportunity to create a lot of connections quickly, or you spend a lot of money with little results. Trade shows are a lot of work and it’s not as easy as setting up a booth and going.
The whole intention of a trade show is to get more business.
Tip #1: Get On Stage If You Can
This is HUGE! If you can create the opportunity to speak on stage do whatever it takes to grab that bull by the horns. Speaking on stage sets you apart from your competition and forms you as a “thought leader” in your industry.
Create a topic that is compelling and delivers new facts or a bit of controversy. It should have a call to action (CTA) in the topic summary and one at the end of the speaking engagement.
Most breakout sessions and main stage events only give 30-45 minutes on stage. This must be a high impact with value to the audience and clarity on what using your product or service can provide the audience if they choose to do business with you after the event.
In the topic introduction, which is usually presented before the audience attends, there should be a “takeaway” that entices the audience to know what they will get from listening to the topic. This will help to “sell” your session above the others that the people can attend.
Tip #2: Create Excitement Around Your Booth
Trade show attendees walking past and will typically give you less than one minute of their time. They glance to see if your booth is compelling enough to give their attention and they will carry on. If you can, create something unique with your booth that provides the character of your company and entices people to test your product or service, or gives the people a reason to visit.
The main goal is to get people to come inside your booth and see enough value that they will either return, as in the case of a signup session, or willing to wait, as in the case of a sample. If you are providing samples, don’t just hand them out. As you give them out explain the ingredients, the manufacturing process, or the story about how the company came to be. People will forget trying out the product, they will have a harder time forgetting the connection that was received when they were handed the product. If you don't have samples of your product to give out, try to accommodate a bowl of chocolates or free bottles of water and offer them out to people passing.
Tip #3: Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
This is where it is best to learn the difference between assertiveness and aggression. People will be turned off by an aggressive booth host before even approaching. They can sense it and will see how the people ahead of them are reacting to the booth.
Assertive is somebody who is willing to introduce themselves to anybody who walks by, aggressive is somebody who won’t let them leave and won’t let them get a word in edgewise. So, be assertive and do not be aggressive.
Don’t go big and extravagant if it doesn’t have a purpose. The biggest success stories come from the companies with the most thought out marketing campaign at the show. Give it your all. Take plenty of time to prepare. Trade shows are a big investment. Make it worth it. Following these tips will help you dominate your trade show event.