Tricks of the Trade Shows
If it’s true what experts say, that it takes an average individual three times exposure to a company to notice them and another seven times to buy, then it would appear that exposure is one of the most important elements to the success of a company.
Why else would RJ’s Signs & Designs, LLC title their newsletter, “The Exposition?” Taken from the word expose, “The Exposition” was named to reflect the services RJ’s Signs & Designs provides; quality signage and promotional material to assist your company in getting its point across to the buying public
What better way to gain mass exposure than by setting up “shop” at trade shows where, in some areas as many as 60,000 buyers will view your company first-hand. True, trade shows and exhibitions require a considerable amount of preparation. In fact, preparation can take anywhere from several weeks to six months or more. But the reward your company will reap will be worth it. To make sure the show is a success for your company, RJ’s Signs & Designs, LLC compiled extensive information to get your company off to a great start in minimal time.
SO HAVE FUN AND GOOD LUCK!
FIRST: Contact the company or organization that is holding the event and tell them you are interested in securing a booth for the show. There is a fee for having a spot in a trade show. Some organizations charge a slightly higher fee if you are not a member of that organization. If money is a concern, you may want to consider sharing a booth with another company and splitting the cost.
SECOND: Once you have established the size and location of your booth next sketch up a layout of your floor plan. Make note of items you will need, such as; tables, chairs, brochures, business cards, lamps/lighting, pictures of your product or the product itself, pens, pencils, possibly room/booth dividers, extension cords, carpeting to fit the size of your booth, if you so choose, questionnaires, fish bowl for contest entries, and anything else you can think of to make people want to stop …look …and read. This will be your checklist. Keep it in a safe place, it will be your lifesaver come set up day!.
THIRD: Locate items from your list. This is where you may need extra time to make phone calls for items that you do not have easy access. For instance, if you need an overhead projector, slide machine, flashing lights, a stage, piano or anything else by the stretch of the imagination, call for them well in advance of the show. Some companies go as far as putting in full lawns and bricked paths. It makes people feel like they are actually stepping onto the real thing, they’re bound to look further.
FOURTH: Banners, brochures, flyers, pricing sheets, publicity kits, napkins, specification sheets, booklets, bags, folders, business cards, shirts, jackets, pens, pencils, give-a-ways, and anything else you would like printed with your company’s name. If it can be fabricated, it can be imprinted with your company’s name and logo. This is where it’s best to have a central theme throughout.
FIFTH: Miscellaneous items to do before the show. Publicize your attendance at the show in trade magazines, newspapers, radio and television. Send a mailing to a niche’ market no less than three to four weeks in advance of the show, letting them know you will be there. Include a contest to be entered or gift certificate to be used at the show. Attend as many trade shows and seminars as you can to see what works and what doesn’t. Contact the program organizer for a spot as a guest speaker at the show.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
Below is a brief list of additional tips from the book “Getting Business to Come to You,” by Paul and Sarah Edwards and Laura Clampitt Douglas.
EXHIBITING AT TRADE SHOWS AND EXHIBITIONS
- Use quality displays, be prepared.
- Set tables in V-shape or T-shape for better traffic flow.
- Use visual elements to attract buyers.
- Have others available to work the booth.
No less than two working at all times.
Don’t eat or drink while working.
Make sure all employees working booth are knowledgeable and not pushy.
Remain standing and interact with passers by.
Make sure workers are chatting with passers by and not with each other.
- Don’t waste expensive advertising specialties, four color flyers, brochures or complete catalogs on trade shows. Save those for serious buyers. Offer to mail a color catalog/brochure.
- Never let a prospect leave the booth without getting his name, company, location. Then follow-up all contacts with a phone call.
- Prepare several specials to add incentives for buyers to make an immediate purchase. For example: Offer discounts and incentives to those who buy at the trade show.
- Always have plenty of order forms, cards, brochures, flyers and pens available.
- Keep a collection of permanent samplesattached to the display. Mount with plant/trees, etc.
- Hire someone to walk around with sandwich boards and napkins with your company’s name and booth number, promoting your booth.
- Donate napkins with name and booth number to concession stand.
- Bring publicity kits and watch for people with press badges. Try to get an interview for your company.