It is a great business opportunity for you to participate at trade shows because you will come face-to-face with people who are interested in your products as well as with those who aren’t but either way you gain great knowledge and experience from the personal encounter.
Trade shows are 2-to-8-day events that resemble going to the market in that buyer and seller get to face each other, but with a more sophisticated touch. These events are usually held yearly or every other year and they speak to people on an international level. This should sound great in terms of your exposure.
Every participating company has the possibility to get its own stand or booth and to exhibit its products and services and have the whole world know their name and what they do. Visitors have the chance to get to know you, to touch your products and ask you all the questions that they might have regarding your business or the manufacturing process of your products and their question might steer you in a great direction and give you an amazing indication of what is that they want and need. This instant feedback is priceless.
You should always work towards finding tradeshows that mirror your niche because that is where you find targeted audience and you can team up with other handcrafters, artists, etc and close major business deals. If you are producing clothes you should attend fashion tradeshows, if you are producing pipes, you should find tradeshows that deal with pipe industry. Luckily, these trade shows cover just about every area you can think of, so type in your domain and give it a Google search and you will definitely find the right one for you and your business, without a doubt.
We believe these are some of the things to keep in mind when jumping into the world of trade shows:
- Trade shows are primarily meant for networking and getting to know people rather than selling your products on the spot. Think in terms of bigger exposure and getting the contact details of people and handing out your info, and this will turn out to be a valuable resource for years to come, instead of just fast sales.
- First, you could start out by attending some of these shows as a visitor to get the feel of what is going on and get familiar with the vibe of these exhibitions. You will see how it is very crowded and that is great news for you and you can decide if it is worth investing into a booth next year.
- Trade shows are the place to hand out as many business cards as possible so arrive prepared. This will spread the word about your products but will also increase your contact list that you can use when announcing a discount campaign for example. Be smart and use a picture of your product as part of the business card. Even if people forget your face or the conversation they had with you, make sure they remember the product and the brand.
- Beside business cards, bring along discount flyers as well. People always love to get a discount or to get something for free so invest a bit into being strategic and promote yourself by promoting a discount for your products. This flyer should contain a few pictures, a brief description of who you are and what you do and the discount with a deadline; deadlines promote a sense of urgency and people react to it actively.
- You could also bring your iPad or laptop and have people Like you or follow you on the spot
- Be memorable and hand out promotional goodies that will attract people to your booth. Chocolate with you brand on it, T-shirt with all your social media , ball, pen, a sample of your product or a goodie bag containing all the above, be creative. Again, people love free stuff.
- Beside bonding with potential customers, you should also make an effort and get familiar with your competition. Get to know them and you will soon recognize the things your business is lacking and don’t be surprised if they give you good advice, they are human too 🙂