I gave a presentation recently to a local chamber of commerce on 'how to
get the most from an expo.' Over the course of my business career I have worked many expos, trade
shows, festivals, etc. First I will say, they are a lot of hard work
and the results are not always seen immediately. Plus, expos can be
very expensive and time consuming. So if that doesn't give you pause,
then lets talk about about what can be done to ensure you do your part
to make it as successful as possible.
Before signing up for an expo, trade show, festival, etc., think about why you are doing it.
What are your expectations?
- Get Exposure
- Get Leads/Referrals
- Build Relationships
- Sell Products
- Who is your Target Market?
- Obtain and Read the vendor/expo rules
- Determine how much area you will have to display
- Are there any restrictions?
- If possible request ahead of time the most optimum space for your display, i.e. against a wall, corner space, front/back of the room, near the food/drink, etc.
- Will you need electricity?
- Floor covering
- What will be provided, i.e. table, table covering, back drop, etc.?
- What marketing printed material will you need? i.e. brochures, flyers, business cards, etc.
- Signage - banners, stand up signs, etc.
- Promotional products, give-a-ways
- Lead generation forms
- Door Prize(s)
- Notify ALL of your Customers and Prospects
- Offer a gift/discount if they come by your booth
- Put up a sign in your place of business
- Post on ALL Social Media Platforms often and up until AND the day of the Expo
- Hand out flyers at all the networking meetings/events you attend prior to the expo
- Put flyers in all orders prior to the expo
Make it welcoming and inviting
Make it colorful
Less is More - Don't display to much to the point that it looks cluttered
Have it be interactive - Have a reason for them to stop, look, converse.
Offer a special offers/discounts just for the expo
Have a candy dish/bowl
Have a 'fish bowl' and lead generation forms to collect prospects information - Offer a door prize
Have your door prize prominently displayed - Make it showy
- Solicit help for the day of the expo to help set up, man the booth, break down, and pack up
- Train your helper(s) ahead of time so they understand what you want them to do as well as what to say when they are manning the booth for you
- Do a mock set up of your booth ahead of time to ensure you can display within the guidelines of space provided
- Make sure you have all your 'props' and material together ahead of time
- Make a 'what if' kit for anything you might need the day of the expo, i.e. pins, tape, scissors, hammer, pliers, screw driver, etc.
- Dress appropriately
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Arrive early to set up or set up the day before if possible
- Make friends with your booth neighbors
- Get set up in plenty of time to visit the other vendors. (Depending on your business, they may be your best prospects.)
- Wear a name tag
- SMILE! It's Show Time!
Do wear a name tag
Be ready to meet and greet
Greet people and start a conversation
- Keep your table/booth area free of trash, etc.
- Have Helper Take Photos and Post on Social Media
- SMILE! Have a Good Time!!
- Stay until the End - I have met some of my best prospects at the end of many events
- Don't sit behind your table
- Don't be on your cell phone
- Don't have so many helpers that prospects
can't get to Your Table/ Booth
Don't be over aggressive and/or pushy
Don't stand around talking to your neighbor
and/or helpers and not paying attention to prospects
Do not eat at your table
Don't break down and start packing up early
Did you know that 80% of trade show vendors do not follow up?
In fact, check out these statistics -
- Follow Up Within 24 to 48 hours
- Email ALL Prospects a Thank You for stopping by your booth
- Announce Winner of Your Door Prize in your email and on Social Media. Include a photo if possible.
- Call all HOT Prospects within 24 to 48 hours
- Mail Thank You Cards to those who purchased
- Add prospects to distribution lists
- Continue to Keep in Touch - Sometimes prospects don't realize they have a need until sometime later.
Happy Expoing !
Painted Lady Enterprises