Trade show tips

Trade Show tips Industry trade shows are a great way to spread your message.

Exhibiting at industry-specific trade shows is an effective way to get the word out about your company, and its products and services. But like any part of your marketing program, it requires time and money. Many of my clients exhibit at trade shows on a regular basis. They do so because of the results they gain. After all, industry-specific trade shows attract an audience that’s very interested in what exhibitors are selling. That said, I want to take this time to share with you some of the things they and other successful trade show exhibitors do. If you’re thinking of exhibiting at trade shows, please read one of the recent editions of my newsletter, Ferrante Speaks. It explores the subject in more detail. To read it, go to— Preparing for a trade show event.

Trade Show Tips #1 Research, research, research.

I know it sounds like a pretty basic thing, but you must do your homework if you want to get good marks (or in your case, good leads). First, find a trade show that’s specific to your business. A good place to begin your search is at  It’s the website for the Trade Show News Network. It’ll help you find events that are a good match for you. Next, analyze the costs associated with exhibiting. Not just the cost of the booth, but also the cost of handouts, and your display, including banners and posters and other types of signage. Weigh all the costs against the type of people who will be attending, and whether or not they can be turned into qualified leads.

Trade Show Tips #2 Plan, plan, plan.

If you thought all that research was daunting, wait until you begin the planning phase. Set goals for your display at the trade show. Think about the type of person you hope to attract, whether you want to book sales or just spread the word about your business, and if you want to cast a wide net or connect with a smaller number of qualified leads. Set up appointments before the show. Reach out to prospects through your marketing channels – newsletters, emails, social media, direct mail, and print advertising.

Make sure you have enough trade show marketing materials on hand. Remember to give yourself the time necessary to have them produced and delivered. That goes for signage as well, such as attention-getting banners and posters. Large format printing plays a big role in trade shows.

If you’re going to give away a premium, choose one that keeps “selling” your business long after the show, not something cutesy that attendees will give to their children once they get home. One more thing: teach your staff how best to engage attendees, and how to dress appropriately for the event.

Trade Show Tips #3 It’s show time!

Act professionally; resist talking on a cell phone while you’re staffing your booth, and remember what I just wrote about dressing appropriately. It’s also wise to have members of your staff scout around the event, and speak with other vendors. Chances are they’ll provide you with valuable insights.

When visitors come to your booth, ask good qualifying questions. Find out if they’re interested in what you’re selling, when they’ll be ready to buy, and if you can follow up with them after the show. Another effective way to gather information is to have a drawing, which visitors can enter by filling out a survey. Take careful notes, recording prospects’ names and contact info, along with other pertinent sales data that you can use in following up with them. Since following up is so important, be sure to capture as much information as possible at the show. Good luck!

Have a great day

Audrey Ferrante
Ferrante & Associates, Inc.


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