Tradeshows are one of the most marvelous and also relatively cost-effective strategies to deploy for a starting business.
Selecting the right trade show or exhibition is crucial to your success. Keep in mind the following key points.
Type of Trade Show and/or Exhibition
I would recommend more than one show in a year. If you have the opportunity to do the same show in different locations, take advantage of the special deals organisers usually provide for booking more than one show. Ensure that they have a large percentage of your target audience? Does it fall within your catchment area?
Check with the organisers and ask to see their visitor numbers and breakdown for at least 3 years. Three years will provide you with reasonable statistics considering variables.
Type of Stand
I would focus on customer engagement and the design of your stand rather than the size or cost of the expo stand. Think creatively. Make it fun and entertaining and memorable.
Reach out to Early Adopters
Encourage your customers who are buying from you to talk and ask them to share why they’re buying. These insights are valuable in ironing out issues and improving your offering as well as your marketing collateral. I would suggest keeping extra budget aside to make changes in your marketing collateral and tie in your website as well for each trade show. You will see which one(s) your customers respond to best. That’s what I would stick with moving forward.
Surveys allow you to gather feedback from current and prospective customers. Spend time on considered questions to provide you with meaningful responses that you can act on post the trade show. Include two open-ended questions in your survey as they provide the responder with an opportunity to share information that you may not have been aware of.
Win Brand Ambassadors
If you get your customer experience, engagement, offering packaged correctly you can easily create these influential customers. If you can “wow” them in some way that is memorable and great for taking selfies, you create an environment that makes it easier for them to take the desired action. Brand ambassadors are those exceptional customers who spread the word to their social circle which can have a significant impact on your sales and future success.
Trade shows visitors are not all there for the same reason. Some may well be potential investors. It’s worth having investor-focused collateral ready in case. Teaser material rather than a full-on business plan would have more impact. You want them to keep on thinking about you and share the possibility with their business partners or other members of a syndicate long after the trade show.
Get Media Coverage
Invest in a PR consultant months prior to your selected trade shows. National coverage is difficult to achieve but an accumulation of local coverage can be impactful with a great PR plan.
Spend time on ensuring a well-executed marketing strategy as well as experienced exhibition partners to provide you with excellent trade show results to rival more established businesses.