9 Trade Show Tips for Vendors and Exhibitors
There are many ways you can advertise as a new business. Maybe you’ve tried all the tricks of the trade. Your commercial starring a talking monkey aired on primetime cable. A giant billboard of you in a contemplative pose is above the busiest highway. Plus, you have a loud, slightly annoying ad running on Spotify. The natural next step is for you to promote your business at an elaborate trade show.
If you’ve never attended a trade show, just know they can be loud, exhausting events. However, there’s no better way to get the word out there about your company. You can be sure to make a valuable impression by simply being personable, choosing the right people on your team to bring along, and advertising with free promotional giveaways. Still, that’s not all you can do to win over the crowd!
Without further ado, here are nine surefire ways to come prepared and stand apart from the competition!
#1 Be in Front of the Table:
Sitting like a bump on a log with your arms crossed in front of you isn’t going to do much to make people feel welcomed. In fact, it takes only 7 seconds for someone to make a judgement about a person when first meeting them. You’re representing your brand, and if people think you’re grumpy and unapproachable, just imagine how they’ll feel about your business. Body language, tone of voice, and your overall enthusiasm are going to be what make or break every visitor’s experience.
#2 Bring Enough People:
During a trade show, it’s difficult to imagine how busy you might be. Maybe someone becomes completely fixated on your product and wants to get as many details as possible. Meanwhile, other people are walking right by your booth. Make sure you have enough hands on deck to keep up with the demand. Even more, only recruit those on your team who have big personalities and really understand your brand.
#3 Give Out Free Items with Your Logo:
Of course, your business is the center of the universe. However, not everyone feels the same way yet. Visitors at a trade show will see hundreds of booths within a short amount of time. Yours isn’t going to stand apart from every other Tom, Dick, and Jane unless you give them something they can take home. Bring along trendy promotional giveaways that make an impression like iridescent water bottles or practical canvas bags.
#4 Stay Well-Nourished:
Be prepared to stand on your feet for hours on end without a break. With that said, you might not have time to run down to a deli and grab a quick sandwich. Make sure you have quick, energizing snacks like protein bars, apples, or almonds in your bag. Plus, bring plenty of water! The last thing you want is to pass out from dehydration when people are excited to visit your booth.
#5 Wear Branded Jackets:
The convention hall is either going to be ridiculously hot with all those sweaty bodies so close to each other, or impossibly cold. For some reason, trade show venues haven’t quite mastered the art of proper ventilation. You’re going to want to have comfortable jackets, just in case it gets chilly. Think of it as another way for people to instantly recognize your company.
#6 Build a Crowd:
The old saying holds true: birds of a feather flock together. When a bunch of people surround your booth with positive energy, more will naturally follow to see what all the buzz is about. The only way you’re going to earn that kind of attention is by having something fun to show. Whether you’re hosting a game or providing entertainment with a live singer, it’s important to build a crowd around your brand.
#7 Make visitors Feel Comfortable:
Attendees have likely been on their feet all day and are sure to be exhausted by the time they find your booth. Make a space for them to sit. Even better, offer some kind of entertainment while they are there. They’re not going to want to listen if you sound too salesy, but if you play a funny video you’ll keep their attention. You can make it even more exciting by giving them a snack, just be sure to check the rules/regulations of whoever is hosting the trade show.
#8 Network and Connect:
It might seem easier to scowl in disgust at your competition and say mean things behind their back. Don’t fall into this trap! These are colleagues who all work in the same industry. They might know a few tricks of the trade that you could have missed. Take the time to shake hands, introduce yourself, and build up those connections.
#9 Look the Part:
Whether you wear a three-piece suit or a hot dog costume, the clothes you choose to wear reflect your brand personality. Ditto for the way you decorate your booth. If you have a giant stand with corporate imagery and nothing else, you’re not likely to get a lot of attention. However, if you go the extra mile and decorate with lights, balloons, or in extreme situations, fog machines, people are going to be instantly drawn to your brand.
It’s worth taking the time to make sure you’re a shining star at the next trade show. These promotional events have roots in ancient civilizations, where people made a living by selling ceramics, art, food, and fabrics at bazaars outside of city walls. Today, they are major advertising events that draw millions of visitors every year. By making sure your brand is the talk of the event, you’re sure to make new connections and grow even more as a company.