Everyone knows a trade show requires a lot of time, resources, and investment to make it effective. That’s why planning for your next trade show can seem overwhelming and frustrating at times, especially if you are a new business or a startup. However, with the right preparation, you can maximize your return by carefully planning for each required resource in advance. Not to mention, you can get your brand loyalists involved in a way that is beneficial to your company for years down the line.
So, how does one master trade shows? Here are our top 6 ways to exhibit efficiently and effectively:
1. Purchase and Donate
You’re going to need furniture, flooring, and other resources to pull off a trade show booth. Check with local companies, like Home Depot or Ikea, and see if they have any kind of items that you can use at your trade shows. Some places will even let you rent them for much lower than buying the items.
If you do buy the items, try donating them afterward to a Goodwill-ideally an organization that will come and pick-up the pieces for you.
2. You Scratch My Back, …
Many vendors, like LCD manufacturers, will bring their product samples to the exhibit hall. Contact them ahead of time and offer them to demo your product or service on their LCD if they were to bring an extra LCD for your booth. This way they would get additional exposure while you would save the cost for an LCD at your booth.
3. Local Help
There’s no need to fly employees across the country when you already have a remote workforce within driving distance of the trade show. Have local partners come in and work through the exhibition so you can save thousands on flights, hotel, and other costs.
4. Brand Ambassadors
Every company has those loyal customers that would do anything for the business. Have your loyal clients come in and provide raving testimonials that really elevate your booth presence. Offer them an incentive in return, like a free product or service. These same people can market your upcoming trade show on their social media to drum up excitement.
5. Do Everything Early
This holds true with everything from booking the booth and everything associated with your event, to setting up the booth. Set up your trade show booth as soon as you possibly can. Many times, setting up one day early can free up your time the day before the conference so that you can spend time and potentially early viewing of your products for your large customers and get a head start before the official start day. Remember you are not the only one that is competing for their attention while they are at the event.
6. Schedule in Advance
Some of the most valuable trade show magic can happen 4 to 6 weeks in advance of the actual trade show. Make yourself highly available to interact with your existing customers over the phone, through video conferencing, or even via flying to the show a few days early to secure a deal.
There are a lot of different components that go into an effective trade show, which is why we want you to be prepared to really maximize your value the next time around. Follow our tips above to ensure you are stocked up and ready to go ahead of time.