How to Make the Most of Trade Shows and Events
Trade shows provide an excellent opportunity for businesses of all sizes to promote and market themselves. It is at these events you can network with other professionals in your industry as well as talk with prospective customers or suppliers and generate new leads.
However, if you’ve never been to a trade show before, the idea of attending your first one can be slightly daunting. Not to worry though, to help you out here we’ve explained some of our top tips to help ensure the trade shows you attend are a success.
Plan Well in Advance
Planning for the event is undoubtedly one of the most important things you can do – as the saying goes, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail – so start your preparations well ahead of schedule.
Not only do you need to register your attendance and reserve your space at the show, you also need to arrange things like your exhibition stand, marketing materials and transport to and from the show. It’s best to get all of these finer details sorted as early as possible – leaving it to the week before the show is likely to cause a whole lot of panic and stress!
It’s all too easy to get carried away when purchasing resources for a trade event so we recommend establishing and agreeing a budget to make sure you avoid upsetting your finance department!
If you have various members of staff or different teams attending, be sure to communicate with them the details of the event. Ensure everyone is on the same page and clarify beforehand the hotel, venue, dress code, timings and all other essential details.
Exhibition Stand Design and Build
The design of your exhibition stand is pivotal to your success at a trade show. Visitors are unlikely to stop at a tacky or dull stand, so it’s absolutely essential you get its look and feel just right.
Exhibition stands come in many shapes and sizes, so if you’re not sure which type is best for you, have a read of this handy guide: How to Pick the Right Exhibition Stand Type for Your Business
First impressions count so it’s certainly worth investing in a stand or booth that truly reflects your brand image. Here at Smart Display we specialise in creating completely bespoke exhibition stands for businesses all over the UK. We take great pride in bringing our clients’ visions to reality, so if you’re looking to purchase a state-of-the-art stand display, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss your requirements.
Essential Giveaways and Promotional Materials
The most successful exhibitors tend to be the ones with plenty of giveaways and promotional resources. It’s an effective method of increasing footfall to your stand as attendees like to walk away from the show with a tangible item in their hand.
Some of our favourite marketing materials include business cards and brochures; business cards are an easy way for you to pass on your contact information and act a physical reminder of you and your business to potential customers or clients, and brochures enable you to explain more about your products and services to delegates.
Glamify Your Stand
Remember that you’re competing with dozens of other companies, so in order to stand out you need to be unique and memorable. So as well as giving away promotional materials, get creative and try to think outside the box.
In the past we’ve seen businesses hand out branded headphones and Rubik’s Cubes, but if you’re really wanting to make an impact, glamify your stand. Create a large prize wheel, for example, ensuring it’s colourful and big enough to draw attention. The prizes up for grabs are completely up to you, but we advise having one grand prize to entice attendees into having a go.
Be Active on Social Media
It’s important you stay active on social media during the event to stay at the forefront of visitors’ minds. Utilise the event hashtag so that your content can easily be found and make sure to include your booth number in all posts so that attendees can easily find you.
Your posts could highlight any special components of your display, such as the games and giveaways visitors can expect when they stop by, or you could perhaps give your audience quick insight into what happens behind the scenes of your booth. Also consider going live for a short period of time to engage the followers who were unable to make it to the event.
Arrange a Debrief Meeting
A week or so after the trade exhibition, schedule a debrief meeting with your team so that you can discuss what did and didn’t work well. Did you have enough promotional materials to hand out? Did you have a good booth location? How many leads did the show generate? There’s bound to be some areas for improvement so gathering everyone’s thoughts will help you determine what needs to change as you begin planning for the next event.
Get Started with Smart Display
If you’re attending an upcoming trade show and are in need of an eye-catching stand, make sure to contact a member of our team here at Smart Display. From initial drawings through to full colour 3D visuals and tech drawings, manufacture, print and installation, our experienced team can guide you through the whole process.
We have a wide range of solutions perfect those looking to maximise their presence at trade events.