Your tradeshow display is one of the most important aspects of your tradeshow presentation. Just being there isn’t enough to make attending a tradeshow worthwhile. You need to have a tradeshow booth that’s going to draw and engage potential customers and contacts and your tradeshow display will play a big part in determining if your tradeshow experience is worthwhile. Here are some tradeshow display tips:
Think neatness and visibility when putting your tradeshow display together. Use a display board to hang some of your products at customer eye-level to draw them into your display. Make sure your display is organized and tidy; customers will be turned off by messiness or by having to do too much searching to find what they want. Have all your prices clearly marked.
Build the impression of demand into your tradeshow display. Customers will want your products more if they think they’re in high demand.
Pull a crowd to your tradeshow booth. Use an interactive display, such as a quiz or game on a computer, a contest draw, a scheduled demonstration; it doesn’t need to be fancy to draw people’s interest and get them to cluster around your tradeshow display rather than the others. At a gardening tradeshow, I once saw over 50 people crowding around to watch an exhibitor demonstrate how to turn compost!
Have a stock of promotion items that you can use as giveaways at your booth. Small items that people can take away and use (while being reminded about your business) are best. Be sure you place these items in a location where people will have to walk into or through your tradeshow display to get them.
Use a prize draw or contest. Having some kind of prize draw or contest is a great way to collect contact information from booth visitors. You can give away promotion items to encourage people to participate.
Make it easy for booth visitors to get information. Use signs in your tradeshow display to give information about prices, minimum orders, shipping costs, or any other basic information they might need to know, to save them the trouble of having to wait to ask when you’re busy with another potential customer.
Make sure you have plenty of promotional literature on hand. You’ll want to have a good supply of color fliers and brochures as well as order forms, price sheets and business cards that you can hand out to booth visitors so it will be easy for them to find all the information they need about your business later. You should also have a press kit prepared for the trade media.
Be ready to do business. Be sure you have a good supply of order forms, pens, credit card slips, or anything else you need to conduct sales and keep track of people’s orders.
Have your tradeshow booth manned at all times. Someone has to be there to greet browsers, engage them in conversation, and take their questions. If you can’t be there every minute the tradeshow is open, you’ll need to have at least one other person help man your booth.
Actively engage trade booth visitors. Give people who approach your tradeshow display a friendly welcome, and let them welcome their questions. Be sure your body language is friendly; don’t stand there with your arms crossed over your chest, for instance. “Chat” with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in. Be prepared to offer specific solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.
Follow up promptly. Send out email, regular mail, or make the phone calls to follow up on the contacts and leads you made during the tradeshow as soon as possible. The faster you send them out, the more your business will stand out from the rest.
Create a buzz. Months prior to the tradeshow, spend time informing existing clients and your market of the upcoming show. Use the show as a platform for a new product or service launch.
Bring your friendliest employees. You want high-energy, happy people in your booth. They must be well-groomed, attentive and not chewing gum, sitting or talking to each other. Tradeshows still continue to be big business for all businesses. According to The Center for Exhibition Industry Research, business-to-business spending for tradeshows is third to advertising and promotion. In a world of websites, emails, and voice mails, tradeshows offer one of the true opportunities to build relationships with face to face contact. Something every business can use a little more of.