What Should I Know Before Attending My First Trade Show?
The effectiveness of trade shows as a marketing technique need not be overstated. They’ve been around for ages, offering sellers and buyers the distinctive opportunity to establish professional relationships and discover new products respectively.
Finding a suitable trade show for your business will go a long way in expanding your geographic footprint and connecting with potential customers, regardless of your operation size.
Of course, none of this can be achieved without persistence and hard work.
At first glance, trade shows simply look like events where businesses of a particular industry gather to exhibit their goods and services.
However, companies in the trade show circuit will tell you that there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. When you are a first-time exhibitor representing your brand at a blue-ribbon show, the pressure to succeed can be immensely overwhelming.
But with the right blend of planning and preparation, it is possible to knock your inaugural trade show straight out of the ballpark.
Here are a few pieces of advice you should keep in mind before exhibiting:
1. Start Planning Early:
While attending a trade show booth may be a walk in the garden, participating in one is not. You’re expected to be on your toes at all times, either manning the booth or talking to prospective buyers about your product.
To keep your stress levels in check, start planning the details of your event as early as possible. From drawing up a budget to zeroing in on a booth and creating a rough outline of your presentation, checking heavy tasks off your to-do list will help you feel more relaxed when it is show-time.
Registering for your exhibit space in advance will also give you the advantage of early-bird pricing.
2. Do Your Research:
The key to a prosperous trade show is identifying your audience. Before you set your wheels in motion, conduct ample research on the attendee list.
Figure out who among those fit the profile of your target customers. If possible, reach out to them via email and inform them of your presence at the upcoming trade show.
This will make it easier for you to connect with them. Don’t forget to stay up-to-date with your emails so that you can carry correspondence and be on top of any instructions/offers sent by the organizers.
3. Set Realistic Goals:
When it comes to accomplishing quantifiable results at a trade show, being realistic is more beneficial than being optimistic.
Start by clearly defining your goals for a particular event. Are you hoping to break through to a new market or double the number of leads?
Maybe you are using this as an opportunity to reconnect with existing customers and fortify your image. Whatever the purpose of your participation, make sure it is attainable and measurable.
Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment.
4. Prepare Your People:
Even if you are offering the most life-changing product or service, it won’t matter unless you have the right people promoting it.
The staff working at your booth will be the face of your business for the duration of the trade show. Apart from being experts on your brand, they should also be professional, amicable, and highly motivated.
They should take full ownership of the task at hand and be competent enough to field questions. The last part is especially critical for lead generation.
5. Know Your Budget:
Drawing an itemized budget is a pivotal part of organizing a trade show. Without it, expenses can rapidly pile up and spoil your plans.
You need to take into account the cost of renting your space, setting up a booth, shipping materials, promotional giveaways, daily transport, and so on.
The biggest advantage of preparing your budget early on is that you will be able to consider the smallest variables and not have any unexpected expenditures take you by surprise.
6. Pick a Quality Booth:
Your custom tradeshow exhibits are not merely a space for you and your staff to stand in. It is where all the visual branding for your business takes place.
The way your booth looks speaks volumes about how much time, effort, and thought you have invested in planning the event.
Unkempt banners, timeworn graphics, and dated displays will send out the wrong impression. Choosing a quality booth can make or break your trade show experience.
Show that you are professional, creative, and take your business seriously by having a fresh and well-designed exhibit.
These are just a few pearls of wisdom that will serve as excellent jump-off points for your first trade show. Take them to heart and chances are that you will be walking away with an expanded pool of leads and a whole new list of loyal customers.
Renting a Tradeshow Display
While most of the advice here should not be difficult to follow, we understand that purchasing a high-end display for your maiden trade show may not be the most plausible option for small businesses.
In such cases, you can opt for a rental trade show exhibit. It is a sensible and more cost-effective alternative for companies that are new to the scene and wish to test the waters before diving in.
Below are some of the advantages you will enjoy if you decide to go the rental way:
Easy on the Bottom Line:
Making a big impression at a trade show does not necessarily require a big budget. By spending less than you would on a permanent booth, you can attract the same number of customers to your rental booth display, if not more.
Doing so will also save you a tonne of ownership costs such as maintenance, storage, repair, and refurbishment.
Flexible with Time:
Trade show trends keep changing, so investing your capital in a booth that may not be relevant in the future may not be the best idea.
On the other hand, you can keep updating your rental tradeshow display design as per current standards and stay ahead of the curve. This will keep your exhibit creative and interesting both to you and the attendees.
The best thing about a tradeshow display rental is that you can take it out for a test run before committing to anything.
This allows you to get accustomed to the idea of exhibiting and understand the basics of organizing a successful show.
Another factor that contributes to the convenience of rental exhibits is that you don’t have to spend time installing and dismantling the booth. The rental company will take care of all the groundwork for you.
How Exponents Can Help
More than anything, your first trade show will be a training ground for you and your staff. You might stumble and make some mistakes along the way, which is perfectly acceptable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t strike gold.
With the help of experts like us, who have been in the trade show business for a long time, you can take major leaps and bolster the image of your brand. Let’s delve into some specifics and discuss how we can make that happen:
We will create a custom tradeshow display by incorporating a winning blend of your ideas and ours. Taking your end goal into account, our team of professional designers will come up with not only the most suitable but also the most creative booth space that represents your brand faultlessly.
End-to-end Project Management:
We love every part of the booth construction process, from establishing a realistic timeline and designing to shipping and dismantling.
And since every brand is unique, we make sure to give our undivided attention to each project by assigning a dedicated project manager who oversees all the details of your tradeshow display.
This is one of our distinguishing features: we offer open-ended pricing that is fair and affordable by small and big businesses alike. Once we provide you with a quote, you can rest assured that it will not change.
After all, nobody likes to waste their time haggling and negotiating. With us, you won’t have to do any of that.
Peace-of-mind Booth Builds:
We don’t just want you to have to a memorable trade show experience, but also be happy with the outcome of your first booth.
To enable that, we will give you the opportunity to take your exhibit for a test drive before delivering it to the show. You can examine each aspect under a microscope and let us know if you would like anything to be modified.
From the second you start planning your trade show to the moment the curtain falls, we want your experience to be as fun and stress-free as possible.
The best way we know to make that a reality is by taking the cumbersome responsibility of custom trade show booth design, construction, and management in our own hands so that you can focus on all the other aspects.
If that’s something you would like, don’t hesitate to give us a call!