November 5th was the Fuquay-Varina Chamber of Commerce Women's Summit. It's was a new event this year with keynote speakers and break out sessions on a variety of topics. Sponsors like us had "booths" to engage the attendees. Whether your at a trade show with a footprint the size of several football fields or a small local event the goal is the same; making new connections.
First quarter will be here before we know it! Get ahead of the curve by starting to plan NOW before the beginning of the year is here. Planning for success if critical. Keep following our blog posts this week for tips around successful show planning. Let's start with our 10 top tips for a successful trade show.
1. Set appointments. Make the most of your time by setting times for attendees and key people in your organization; consider offering incentives to those that book a specific time. Need to create some space for a private conversation in a busy show? We have solutions!
2. Make your giveaway relevant. Make sure what you are giving away speaks to the message you want to convey and will be both appreciated and used by your target market. Working through product selection and your show day message is a critical part of the plan.
3. Be memorable, smart and relevant. Consider ways to add some fun to your booth, encourage social media sharing, a product attendees will want to win or add value with a quick QR code to scan to information- blog, video, website location or registration to a seminar.
4. Does your team know the plan? Each member of your team should have training to identify qualified leads. Provide ways for dialogue to continue in your booth such as a charging station or game of chance.
5. Promote the event like it's your baby- because it is...make sure the team knows why this show counts. We can design pre-show mailers to strategically invite key attendees to your booth. Use social media platforms, emails and newsletters to let attendees know there are special perks for them to stop by your booth.
6. Respond. Make good on all promises made during the show. Nothing kills a lead faster than a poor follow up with an attendee; outreach should be within 48 hours.
7. Look sharp, be sharp and be kind. Talk to attendees, be assertive and make sure the entire team understands the importance of standing, talking and not looking at their phone! Practice scenarios for how to engage walk ups when you are already involved in conversation.
8. Trade leads and create leads. Consider swapping or sharing leads with sponsor at the show. Along the lines of trading cards, create new conversation by purchasing products like the one shown here that offer dual space; allowing you to promote future events, products or service that might not be the focus that day.
9. Build trust. When you speak, don't pitch "stuff," help them. Consider creating specific white papers to solve common challenges in your industry and use that information as a talking point at the event, as well as a qualified reason to follow up with an attendee.
10. Get out of your comfort zone. Each event requires a different approach. Put yourself in the attendees' shoes, you can better identify what will make someone stop and engage with you. Sometimes a bit of fun is just the right touch!