Are Trade Shows Really Worth It?
I’ve been hearing some buzz about trade shows lately. I’ve heard many entrepreneurs and small business people saying they just don’t get their money’s worth out off the shows they’ve attended.
They talk about not meeting anyone and about people just grabbing their give-aways’ and leaving. They’ve been talking about prices and traffic.
So the question is: Are trade shows really worth it?
The easy answer is “Sure!” what-are-tradelines/ But I think a little explanation is in order. Not every trade show is the right one. There are things to consider when choosing and planning the right show for your business or organization.
I’d like to share with you some best practices I’ve learned along the way.
o Choose the trade shows that are most likely to help you grow your business. Look at who the other vendors will be. What kind of a crowd is the show going to draw?
If you have some interest, send for information early.
o Read the information you receive for each show carefully. What does the cost include? How large is the venue? Are they offering seminars? If you have questions not addressed in the information given, contact the trade show company to get your questions addressed.
Your budget may limit you to attending only one trade show so choose wisely. Take advantage of early registration discounts.
o Location of your booth is an important strategy to gain high visibility. You want your booth to be in a high traffic area but not where traffic is bottlenecked, such as at the entrance to the facility.
o Plan and practice. If you have a portable trade show backdrop or display, practice setting it up and taking it down a few times before the day of the show. Plan what you will bring to the show and have it ready to go two days in advance. Last minute run around adds anxiety!
o Bring an emergency kit. An extra roil of tape, thumbtacks, tape, scissors, paperclips, elastics, markers and pens are crucial office supplies to remember.
o In addition, don’t forget a small first aid kit, antiseptic hand wash, tissues, small sewing kit and an extra pair of panty hose if you’re wearing a skirt
o Many exhibitors forget this important pre-show task: Create a press kit and get it to the press department of the show ASAP. Ask in advance for introductions to radio, newspaper and TV representatives.
o Arrive early and get set up. You might be able to lend a hand to someone else who is setting up. Great opportunity to meet someone new and start a conversation!
o Watch your give-always. Some people actually come to trade shows to play “trick or treat”. They gather up all the goodies they can and leave.
Save your goodies for true prospects and keep them behind the booth. Put a variety of candy in bowls for the masses.
o Think about distributing postcards instead of brochures. They’re cheaper to make and less bulky to carry.
You can either bring a few brochures with you for true prospects, or tell the prospect you’d like to mail them one as soon as you return to the office. This is a perfect way to follow-up with them.