Tips to Wow Prospects at Trade Shows

Trade shows are a proven way to showcase your company’s products and services, but it can be challenging to stand apart in what can seem like a never-ending sea of booths.  Every Spring, The Building Industry Association and the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce put on wonderful tradeshows that showcase local businesses, and with their help, Since 1006, Print & Copy Factory has gathered together ideas and generated a seminar that you can attend for free. Keep an eye on our website for the dates for this early Spring.

Here are a few tips to ensure your company gets noticed before, during, and after the event:

    • Send teaser pre-show mailers that encourage prospects to visit your booth. Include a raffle ticket for a giveaway, promote a prize drawing, or encourage recipients to stop by your booth for a free giveaway item.
    • Consider a theme for your booth, such as a Hawaiian theme, coffee shop theme, or sports-related theme. If you don’t want to go the theme route, simply wear attire that is appropriate for the products you’re selling. For example, if you sell ski equipment, you could dress in ski apparel and offer visitors hot cocoa and free demos.
    • Attract visitors with a delicious treat they can’t resist, such as homemade cookies, cupcakes, ice cream bars, cinnamon rolls, or even full-size candy bars wrapped with your marketing message.
    • In addition to having a widescreen display that offers engaging, informative content, videos, and product highlights, remember that print materials (including business cards, brochures, and flyers) are a must for ensuring visitors will remember you after they walk away.
    • Use a spotlight to draw attention to a new item or promote a “show special” or “best seller” item. Consider offering a significant discount for placing an order during or within a few days of the event, and have promotional flyers ready to pass out detailing any exclusive offers you provide.
    • Be on the ball when mailing follow-up information. If you’re on the road, email someone at the office daily with requests to send info packets immediately.
    • Most tradeshows now generate a list of attendees to the tradeshow, however, we still suggest that you do your own drawing/give-a-way of some sort, to collect leads. Flag the drawing form / business card with a rating 1-2-or-3 on the interest level that this person has with your product, so you can follow up with the hot ones right away. Follow integrity, and post the winner (take a photo perhaps) – during the show, on a sign, on facebook/twitter and website so everyone knows it was legit.
    • Consider sending a lumpy mailer shortly after the event that includes a thank you card or flyer featuring a photo of you and/or your booth (to spark memory), a small promotional item, and a sample or trial offer of your product. You may also wish to promote an extension to any exclusive offers you marketed at the event.

Let us know if we can help you create stunning marketing materials, direct mail invites and follow-ups, promotional items, tradeshow booths and signage, that will not only spread the word but also help turn prospects into customers!

Trade Show Fashion Faux Pas

It doesn’t take a fashion expert to know that some things don’t belong at trade shows. Here are a few examples of what not to wear at trade shows and other business events:

Too much or too little. There is nothing worse than freezing or sweating at a networking event. Dress in comfortable layers that you can easily add or remove as needed, such as a suit jacket over a dress shirt.

Clothing without a pocket or two. Pockets are always handy for business cards, pens, breath mints, etc.

New shoes. While new shoes may look nice, nothing looks worse than missing out on important introductions because you can’t stand to be on your feet. Trade shows usually involve long hours and lots of standing and walking. Stay in the game by picking a shoe that’s made for walking, or watch the competition walk all over you.

Cologne. Fragrances should be alluring, not overpowering. If you are within talking distance and can smell someone’s perfume or cologne, it is too strong.

Clothes which are too tight, too short, too revealing. No matter whether your pants are popping a button because they shrunk in your closet or are snug by choice, clothing that is too tight is not only unprofessional but distracting.

Gaudy jewelry. You want to be remembered for your personality or impressive product knowledge, not your giant jangling earrings or over-jeweled hands.