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How to Make a Great Impression at a Trade Show

trade show tips

Making a great impression at a trade show can get you business leads

For any business, trade shows are a great way to let potential customers know about existing or upcoming products and services that you offer. Spreading the word and making connections are two of the main reasons businesses exhibit, but it’s important to make a good impression and maximise the benefits of attending.

Several tips to help you get the most out of trade shows are detailed below. Remember that your customers benefit from these tips also, meaning they may lead to reciprocally beneficial relationships in the future.

Establish a focus point

Identify the main product or service you are promoting at the trade show, and arrange your exhibition space around that. Researching the other companies attending, as well as any keynote speakers will give you a better feel for which product or service would be best to promote. Arranging your exhibition display stands around one aspect of your business will give a more concise impression to people visiting your stand, which is important given the potentially brief nature of their visit. Avoiding overwhelm in your visitors means that you can give a strong impression of one aspect of your business, then build upon that in future communications.

Attract attention

Simply being there won’t attract all of the attention you could attract through other means. Attracting visitors to your stand is an important aspect of attending trade shows, and you should put thought into how you will do this before arriving. Giveaways are a great way of doing this, and could be large or small depending on the audience. Giving visitors freebies may intrigue passers-by enough to visit your stand and get one too, or, if possible a big prize giveaway at the end of the day could be a good option too. Give each visitor to your stand a raffle ticket, then another ticket to those who sign up to your mailing list, another if they download your app, and five if they place an order, for example. This encourages people to both visit your stand, and to interact with your business.

Maintain a good appearance

An organised exhibition space is vital: if there is too much clutter then visitors will be put off. Clutter can refer to unpacked boxes and mess, or to an exhibition space that tries to convey too much information. To avoid the latter, refer to the information in the “˜establish a focus point’ section. To avoid the former, ensure that staff at the stand are aware of the importance of neatness, and that any mess is promptly cleared up. Your staff are responsible for your company’s reputation at trade shows and exhibitions, and for many visitors, this will be their first impression of your company. You don’t want it ruined!

Following these tips will ensure visitors to your stand are greeted with helpful, focused information, and are left with a good impression. While maintaining a clean stand may seem obvious, it is important that it is not neglected, as a bad first impression will be detrimental to future client relations. Bearing these factors in mind will ensure you benefit fully from attending trade shows.

Image: The ASI Show / Flickr

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SMB Authors 1044 posts

This article is one of the excellent contributions from small business owners, decision makers and professionals.

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