To do list when attending a trade show.

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Over the last couple of weeks we have published some articles about what you must do when preparing to show at a trade show and the benefits of doing so. Today we thought we would go over what exactly you should be doing when presenting your business at an exhibition or trade show.

First of all, you are in a better position to grow your business by attending trade shows sponsored by your  industry or local community. Never underestimate the power of networking as a way of generating new opportunities, and a trade show or a public event offers you a decent field to really introduce yourself.

Staff

Some SMEs seem to think that they are ill-equipped to attend a trade show, simply because they feel they are understaffed or have limited resources to do the event justice. At times like these it is best to hire family and friends or even temporary staff to help you out over the course of the event. Granted it can boost the cost of accommodation for a larger team, and it may require additional time to spend training. This will generally be worth it, because you will gain more coverage, you will for instance be able to leave your booth and walk the show floor, whilst your team look after the home base.

In addition, it is important to get a rota going, so staff are free to go off for breaks and clear their head and explore the rest of the show floor. If you do have a team behind you, it is just as important giving them the freedom to gain an improved understanding of the industry and your business’s place within it.

Clothing

Understand the nature and style of the event, whether it is public or overly corporate and industry, you should dress accordingly and make your team look presentable. You will need to know whether you are to dress smart and provide a uniformed look to your staff or if you can get away with being casual. All your staff should be equipped with a name badge as this will make it much easier to engage with people on a friendly and informative level. Name tags will also make your staff easier to remember in the minds of your visitors, this can be extremely important after the show, as they will have a mental picture of your business through your representatives.

Your Booth

Your booth will have to proudly display your brand clearly and tastefully. At the Gazeboshop, we offer custom print services, so businesses can properly craft their own identity to their exact specification. Your booth should act as both as a welcome station and a homebase for your staff, you want to ensure that you keep your showfloor space tidy and clean, with no inconvenient obstacles. If it is an outdoor event, it can be a great asset to visitors if your space includes shelter, as provided by a popup shelter for instance.

Network

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and your business in front of new people. This is the kind of environment that is built for the formulation of these kinds of interactions. If there are seminars and workshops relevant to your business, you should take time to attend them and try and meet those giving the talks. It also helps to have plenty of business cards at hand to distribute among the people you meet. Your business card should effectively and concisely introduce you and your business and provide ways of getting in touch. When engaging with other visitors take care not to outstay your welcome or linger with clients that obviously hold no interest in your business.

After show preparations

After the show, you should evaluate how the event went down for you, all the positives that genuinely helped your business and all the negatives that may direct you towards revising your approach or elements of your business strategy. You will also want to find a way of recording all the contacts you made, perhaps through a link sheet or another. Now might be a good time to send off a friendly end of show recap, where you let your contacts know it was a pleasure to meet them and ask whether they had a good show.

Making the preparations to attend a big industry event or even big public events such as a motorshow, music festival or agricultural show can be a daunting prospect, and it is hard work networking all day long. When done correctly however, by following these tips, the benefits to be gained are massive.

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