Trade shows & Events are one of the easiest and most effective ways for vendors to meet and greet large numbers of prospective customers in a relatively short period of time. And, because most visitors are in the market for exactly the kinds of products or services you offer, the value of those contacts is immeasurable. According to a recent study, more than 90 percent of tradeshow attendees ranked tradeshows as an "extremely useful" source of information when considering a product purchase - higher than any other source, including visits from sales reps.
Like anything else in the business world, tradeshow success is an art. Luckily, it's one you can learn to master with a little preparation and knowledge. Here are five quick tips to help you make the most of participating in your next trade show:
1. Most tradeshow attendees create a list of which booths and exhibits they plan to visit. The right pre-show promotion – postcards, e-blasts, trade publication ads, and small unique promotional gifts – can ensure your booth gets on many of those lists.
2. Resist the temptation to pack your booth with as much information as you can possibly fit. Instead, create a single focal point that communicates the essence of your business. Everything in the booth should somehow reinforce that central idea.
3. As much as 90 % of all literature handed at out tradeshows never makes it back to attendees' offices. Offering to mail literature to prospects who express serious interest in your company is a more economical and effective strategy.
4. Keep at least two levels of custom giveaways on-hand at a tradeshow – a large quantity of less expensive items for general traffic, and a smaller number of more valuable items, reserved for existing customers and serious prospects.
5. Follow up! Industry studies suggest that as many as 79% of all tradeshow leads are never followed up. Don't expect leads to seek you out after the show, no matter how interested they seemed in your company at the tradeshow.
For more useful advice on ensuring trade show success, check out our full Making the Most of Trade Shows white paper.