There are so many advantages to attending a trade show, from a chance to engage in some important networking all the way to having invaluable face-to-face time with your customers. Then, there’s the unique chance to showcase your products and promote any plans you have for the future. Still, there will be so many of your competitors (or just other entrepreneurs) vying for the attention of the same audience. This poses one major question – how do you stand out at a crowded trade show? Here are five tips to help you out.
Set a budget
The first thing you need to do in a crowded trade show is to set a proper budget. Promotional materials, display stand, signs, banners, staff uniforms are just something that you’ll have to take into consideration. Then, consider the fact that this trade show isn’t taking place locally. You need to think about the commute and accommodation for your team as well. All of this will cost you. Now, attending a trade show is not the same thing as attending a social event. It’s a business decision and, as such, it has its ROI. This means that in order to set a budget…
Carefully select your staff
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that the one thing that makes a trade show into something unique within the industry is a chance to meet your clients face-to-face. This means that you choose which of your employees (representatives) they’re going to meet. Sure, some of your company’s introverts may be the best experts in the field, however, for these scenarios, you need someone who knows how to “work the crowd”. You need talkative, charismatic, and empathetic representatives. Take all into consideration and choose wisely.
Prepare promotional materials
The next thing you need to think about is the preparation of promotional materials for the event. There are so many items that you have to distribute amongst your clients. We’re talking, first and foremost, about leaflets, brochures, and flyers. Then, you need to provide your staff with branded uniforms. Finally, in order to generate some value for them, you might want to print out some branded t-shirts, hats, umbrellas, mugs, etc. In fact, you could even make some branded USB drives (provided that it fits your budget). All in all, this is just one of the things to help set you apart from the herd.
Another thing you need to do in order to stand out in a crowd is to have a commanding visual presence. First of all, you need to invest in a quality display stand. The choice of shape and size is a personal one, as well as something that will be decided according to the space that you have available. Other than this, you need some signs, banners, and other pointers that will make you visible from a tad further away. Generally speaking, you can tend to this while resolving the situation with printed materials.
Hype-up your attendance
Lastly, the best way to stand out is to have an audience that’s arriving at the trade show with the intention of interacting with your brand. The simplest way to ensure this is to hype-up your presence at the event, in advance. For instance, you can make a teaser or a public announcement on your blog and then share it on all your social media profiles. Other than this, there are some who even add a count-down to the event on their homepage in order to add a dimension of urgency to it all. Either way, there’s so much for you to do.
The last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that this is definitely not the last trade show that you’ll be attending, which means that anything you learn from the experience goes to serve as a major plus. These five tips can serve as a great starting point or the core of your plan. Later on, you get to upgrade it based on your needs and experiences.