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Trade Show Tango
With spring about to bloom (we hope!), the Cushing team is thawing out, pounding the pavement and connecting with local businesses at trade shows & conventions. As a matter of fact, we are attending one at McCormick Place next week! All we need to do is show up at our table and client orders tumble in, right? Oops, must have been daydreaming again.
Actually, we are organizing materials, coordinating details and strategizing the best way to draw potential clients to our table. And you know what?
There is a lot of to think about!
After sharpening our pencils (yes, we still use pencils at Cushing) here’s a short a list tips we hope come in handy for your next appearance.
- Promotional Direct Mail Obtain a mailing list of attendees (sometimes there is a fee) and invest in a mailer. Offer an incentive to visit your booth or add a cross-media element (such as a QR code or PURL) with a short survey to see if they are potentially seeking your product or service.
- Put Aside Business Cards for the Show After forgetting these for a show several years ago, I started packing up specific show cards, labeling the box and placing them in an obvious spot in the office. It’s also better than shoving a bunch of business cards in your pocket at the last minute, so they don’t get bent, folded etc.
- Bring a Fishbowl and Raffle a Prize Make it easy and let attendees drop in their business card to be eligible. Pull the winner during the show. No one likes feeling as if they were tricked into dropping in a card.
- Bring Graphics to Enhance your Space Almost goes without saying but there is always a sparse booth or table with a laptop and nothing else. You are there to promote your brand and encourage foot traffic among potentially hundreds of exhibitors – you don’t need to be a peacock but catch their eye! This could be table tents, banner stands or a branded tablecloth. Don’t have these? Cushing can assist.
- Don’t rely on WIFI Chances are, complimentary WIFI is offered at the venue but often, coverage can be sporadic with so many people accessing it. If you need internet access for presentation purposes, it probably makes sense to pay the additional fee.
- Bring Name Tags Yes, I have forgotten these. Not everyone will look at them but it helps when a prospect doesn’t catch your name (and may be shy and doesn’t want to ask again after an introduction.)
- Bring Rack Cards, Brochures or Sales Material Conversations are great to collect information and sell a prospect on what you do. Information is essential. Give them something to remember you. Don’t have these either? We can assist.
- Share Tweet and post to your Facebook wall while at the event. No matter if it is industry trends, new products and services or interesting connections you have made, share the info!
- A ‘Post Trade’ Show Blog Summarize your experience with a blog after the conference or show, summing up top items you experienced and learned.
- Checklist Organize all these items and mark them off as they are ready to go!
What are some of your trade show tips? Share them in the comment box.