Getting the Most Out of Trade Show Marketing

Just like creating a business plan you need a plan to participating in trade mxl tv. Talk with your marketing/advertising personnel to make sure that the themes you have in print advertising and literature are the same ones you want to portrait at the trade show event. Keep the focus the same (usually big ticket items or the primary product/ service you are offering) and make sure your messages can be conveyed easily to a new prospect. Most people walking by your booth look at it for five seconds and determine if it is of interest to them – makes sure you get the prospects you want to stop at your booth.

The bigger the space you have the more area you have to show your products and services. Some people just want to hand out literature and start with a skirted table. Others have either an 8′ or 10′ display with some shelves and graphics to display their products and services. Still others go custom with larger spaces that allow them to have several “areas’ within their booth to showcase different products and/or services. How you utilize the space is dependent on the message and image you want to convey to the potential prospect. So for example, if you want to convey the message that you are the number one company in this market – your space better be large and bold.

The exhibitors guide can help you understand how to conduct yourself at trade shows and what you can and can not do with your booth space. It should also provide you with a list of companies participating (who could be prospects as well) along with a floor plan and a schedule of when the show floor is opened. Try to get your booth space in the corners, entrance areas, or anywhere near high traffic areas. You want to see a steady flow of traffic by your booth.

In order to make your trade show participation run effectively you need to make sure that you communicate your plans. Make sure the right sales people are available to work the booth, determine what you will hand out to the prospects, get a display purchased or rented, and make sure you have the booth area decorated to match your advertising theme and image.

Once your plans have been set you need to establish how the results are to be measured. It can be as simple as “one closed sale” to collecting 50 “A” leads. Make sure you identify what an “A” lead is and if possible document that information at the show. Determine who and how you are going to follow-up on all leads. Are you sending out literature, contacting all leads, or a combination of the two? Whatever it is, make sure you determine how you are going to measure the success of the participating in any particular trade show event.

As prospects come to your booth be prepared to ask them some qualifying questions that will help you quickly determine if the person is a good candidate for your products and/or services. Once you determine if they are a good candidate make sure to collect their contact information either through a business card or lead retrieval system and then document on that card information about your conversation for future reference. Do not try and collect everyone’s business card, focus on the ones that are interested in what you have to offer and fit the criteria of a strong prospective customer.

Most literature at trade shows is never read. It is sometimes more prudent to provide a one page flyer or to offer to send the literature via email or mail. Even better to ask if you can hand-deliver the prospect a brochure after the show and have a meeting to discuss the information in more detail. Regardless, limit the amount of literature you hand out at shows.

Instead of standing around asking the prospect sales type questions, it would be more beneficial to create a “trade show demo”. The demo could be a rehearsed list of your products major features and benefits that can be communicated to a prospect in less then five minutes. Make sure everyone at your booth can recite this demo for any prospect.

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