Trade Shows are events and exhibitions that are designed to serve as face-to-face meetings for buyers and suppliers. Companies attending the show can showcase their products and services and meet potential customers, while customers can browse and compare different suppliers in one place. Many trade shows also include educational sessions, industry-related seminars and networking opportunities.
In addition to businesses, trade shows also bring together different sectors and industries within a marketplace. They are ideal for fostering relationships and partnerships between companies, and for people who work in related industries to network and build up contacts.
The key benefits of participating in a trade show are as follows:
• Promoting your business and brand to a large variety of potential customers
• Meeting potential customers face-to-face and building personal relationships
• Demonstrating new products, services or capabilities
• Introducing new ideas, technologies and innovations
• Attending seminars and presentations that are focused on either your industry or the industry you are interested in
• Gauging the current market trends and customer requirements
• Generating sales through direct customer contact
• Gathering customer feedback and insights
• Making important contacts and networking with others in your industry
• Learning from other exhibitors’ experiences
• Building relationships with media representatives, analysts and investors
• Generating new leads for future sales
• Increasing company visibility and credibility
• Developing a better understanding of the industry and competition
• Developing business strategy and tactics
Become a Sales & Marketing Rainmaker
Learn valuable skills to win more customers, grow your business, and increase your profits.
General Guidelines and Best Practices
Before the Show
• Setting goals and objectives: Determine your goals and objectives for attending the trade show. Decide what you want to accomplish, what message you want to get across, and what you are hoping to gain from the event.
• Creating a plan: Devise an action plan that includes what you will be displaying, who you need to target and how you will reach them.
• Scheduling meetings: Set up meetings with key customers before the show to ensure their attendance at the event.
• Pre-show promotion: Promote the trade show via marketing emails, social media, or other means to draw attention to your participation.
At the Show
• Staffing: Ensure there are enough staff to cover the entire event.
• Stand location: Choose the best possible location for your stand. Look for areas that are easier to access, high traffic areas and positions near other businesses.
• Stand design: Make sure your stand is eye-catching and professional. It should be easy to navigate, have good lighting and should include visible product displays.
• Displays: Make sure you make use of visual displays to highlight your products or services. It is also a good idea to make sure your logo and contact information are visible.
• Attract customers: Get customers to notice your stand by offering giveaways or having promotions.
• Networking: As well as attending seminars, take the time to meet with other exhibitors, analysts, customers and media representatives.
• Keep records: Make notes and record customer comments and feedback. Follow up on any inquiries as soon as possible.
After the Show
• Follow up: Call customers and conduct follow up activities such as email campaigns or promotions.
• Debrief: Discuss the success and analyse the results. Learn from your mistakes and evaluate what worked and what didn’t.
• Take action: Implement your action plan and take the necessary actions to ensure the best outcome.
• Plan for next year: There is always next year so start planning for the next show as early as possible.
Trade shows can be a great platform for businesses to display their capabilities, increase customer relationships and promote their brand.