Trade shows offer incredible opportunities for you to display your product and reach out to hundreds of new potential customers. But it’s easy to get lost in the sea of the trade show floor if you don’t plan ahead. Here are some ideas to make sure you get noticed and that your trade show booth reaches its maximum potential:
Promote Ahead of Time
Give attendees a reason to visit your booth by sending them promotions in advance of the trade show. Use your in-house files to contact current and former customers. In addition, reach out to show attendees if your trade show organizer is willing to offer this information to you. Generally organizers will do this when you purchase a booth, which means that the other booths at your trade show are probably doing the same thing. Failing to connect with attendees ahead of time will leave your company or product behind before you even start setting up. Send flyers offering a sample of your new product, a special discount, or a free one-on-one consultation. Let attendees know what to expect from your booth by including information about giveaways, any demonstrations you will be offering and their times, and hands-on demonstrations.
Get Involved in a Panel
Talk to organizers early to get on a panel that involves your field or product. This is a great way for your company to reach a wide audience who might have otherwise breezed by your booth and gives your company a personal touch. Attendees will feel personally connected to you once they see you open up about yourself and your product/company on stage. Keep your social media audience updated with live tweets and updated Facebook statuses/pictures to generate excitement and buzz around your panel.
Be Personable, But Not Pushy
There is a fine line between encouraging people to visit your booth and driving them away with over-zealousness. Your employees working the booth should be well placed so that attendees can easily approach them. High top chairs work well for placing you at eye-level but offering a break from standing when necessary. Under no circumstances should your booth appear to be left unmanned–you never know which attendee will be your next big customer.
Invest in Beautiful Signage
If you’re budget is limited or you just aren’t into creating a flashy and expensive booth design, focus your energy and money on your signage. It needs to be eye-catching but simple, intriguing yet clear. You have on average 4 seconds to draw an attendee into your booth, so you don’t want them to have to stop and think about what your sign means. You also want to be clearly visible to those attendees who are stopping by based on your pre-show promotion.
Have Hands-on Demonstrations
Attendees want to see your products, but they will be more likely to invest time and money by trying out your product instead of just looking at it. Your booth should have a table or two designated for hands-on demonstrations so that attendees can really get a feel for what your product is all about and how it works. Make sure to have at least one company representative available at all times to help attendees with their hands-on demonstrations and to answer any questions or troubleshooting that comes up.
Trade shows are an expensive investment of time and money, so you want to make the most of your experience while you’re there and after the fact. Even though you might be exhausted after the trade show, it’s important to follow up with new and potential customers soon after the trade show to keep them thinking about your company or product and to generate new business. Keep these tips to increase traffic in mind as you plan your next trade show booth.