For Best Results at a Tradeshow – Consider…

Tradeshows are considered a “necessary evil” by some but with effective planning and thorough follow-through they pay huge dividends for organizations which are prepared.  Trade shows present powerful sales and marketing opportunities which allow companies of any size to compete and successfully win clients.

So how does a company go about taking advantage of the shows they attend?

1.       Choose the right shows to attend by doing your homework:

  • Description of the event — why would we attend?
  • What networking events are available other than just “booth time”?
  • Demographic information from previous shows
  • Get the opinion of the show from other companies – both vendors and customers — which have attended in the past
  • Evaluate how well the show is promoted and received?

2.       Set objectives for your event:

  • Pre-show – conduct research on who is attending – know your target audience
  • Collect qualified leads from prospects – get as much information as possible
  • Find partners to target
  • Meet with current clients – continue the goodwill and determine follow-on opportunities
  • Use the show to introduce new products and services – WOW THEM!!!

3.       Pre-show Checklist / rules:

  • Is the booth ready / are graphics sharp?
  • Pick a Booth Captain – draw straws if you have to
  • Schedule shifts – do not have overload at booth – people might think you are busy and move on
  • No cell phones – your targets are in front of you
  • No sitting in booth – EVER
  • Keep accurate records of all leads / contacts

4.       Follow-up:

  • Database all qualified leads
  • Plan proper follow up – who, when and why
  • Cost analysis – show cost outlay vs. new business
  • Comments from staff – positive / negative
  • Are we going back? If so, look into early booking for next year – cost savings

Remember tradeshows are a significant investment.   Proper attention and follow-through will yield sizable return on your expense and effort.  Being prepared will enable the attending team to enjoy the show and maximize their time and effort.


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