10 Tips to Maximize Your Trade Show Experience
1. Engage In Social Media
Learn what the Twitter hashtag is for the event and post what you are promoting or what you are giving away. Like the organization’s Facebook page. If they allow it, post teasers or questions to engage the audience.
Other social media outlets can include:
2. Booth Giveaways
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 trade show display to get them.
3. Send Knowledgeable Staff
Many companies will send their “rookies” to tradeshows. Sending new staff is not always the wisest decision, as they may not have all the answers about your products or services. If you do send a new staff member, be sure to include an experienced employee as well. That way, newer staff will be able to watch and learn.
4. Pull In The Crowd
Use an interactive display, such as a quiz or game on a computer, a contest drawing, or a scheduled demonstration. It doesn’t need to be fancy to grab people’s interest, the goal is to peak their curiosity.
5. Everyone Likes to Win
Having some kind of prize drawing or contest is a great way to collect contact information from booth visitors. You can give away promotional items to encourage people to participate.
6. Actively Engage Trade Booth Visitors
Give people who approach your trade show display a friendly greeting and welcome their questions. Be sure that your body language is friendly. For instance, don’t stand in the booth with your arms crossed over your chest. Chat with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in learning. Be prepared to offer specific solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.
7. Man Your Station
Have your trade show 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 trade show is open, you’ll need to have at least one other person to help man your booth.
8. Come Prepared
Make sure you have plenty of promotional literature on hand. You’ll want to have a good supply of color flyers and brochures as well as order forms, price sheets and business cards that you can hand out to booth visitors. Make it easy for them to find the information on your business later.
9. Follow Up Promptly
Follow up with contacts and leads you made during the trade show as soon as possible. The faster you send them out, the more your business will stand out from the rest.
10. Put Your Phone Away!
Get out from behind your booth and get off your phone/computer. Often, exhibitors sit behind their tables while attendees stand looking down at them –- get up and engage! Also, get off your phone or computer. Nothing is worse than watching one of our exhibitors miss valuable exhibitor time because he or she is on the phone. There are typically periods of down time during any conference to follow up on voicemail or e-mails.