As a growing company, one of the best ways to market your small business to hundreds, (if not thousands) of potential new clients is to attend a trade show. What makes a trade show an incredible opportunity for small businesses is that those attending the event are actively seeking companies like yours, looking to make connections and work with people like you. If you’re thinking of attending a trade show as a way to promote your business, here’s what you need to know.
Do your research
If you’ve never been to a trade show before, then attending for the first time as a seller can be a little overwhelming. It makes sense to attend some different shows first, just so you can look around. Take notes about what kinds of things appeal to you, and what draws you to a stall. Think about the layout and see which position in the hall tend to get the most footfall. This can help you make the best decisions when you come to setup yourself.
Consider the costs
Attending a trade show can be incredibly lucrative. It can secure you new clients that can give your business a huge, ongoing boost in profits, however, like everything in business you need to spend money to make money. There are costs involved in attending an expo, from the cost of the space in the hall to your exhibit design and stand. You’ll need to pay employees for their time, and if you’re running giveaways and competitions as a way to draw people in then you’ll need to cover the cost of the prizes. You’ll need to cover travel to get there, along with possibly a van or trailer to bring your staff and all of the equipment you need to set up.
Promotions before the show
Attending a trade show gives you the opportunity to connect with lots of brand new customers and clients, but it can also be a chance to meet with existing ones or those that have shown interest in you in the past. Advertising that you’ll be attending on social media and via email can help drive as much traffic as possible to you when you’re there. You could set up some meetings throughout the day, but be sure to leave time free for people to just walk in. That way you can ensure you’re getting the very best out of your time.
Bring your staff up to speed
At a trade show you won’t be able to do it all, your staff are critical in helping with your success. So ensure they’re educated in what to say, and are able to give a quick description of what your company does to any interested passers by. Time is of the essence, at such a large event people won’t want to spend too much time in one place. So you’ll need to captivate them and make them want to find out more.