Hi Ladies! I’m back this week to share more about exhibiting at your first trade show. In my last post we discussed preparing for the show and making sure it’s the right fit for your business. This week we’ll build upon that discussion and talk about preparation and tips for success.
There are lots of things to do and consider before ever stepping foot onto the exhibition floor. Once you’ve confirmed your stand you now need to start working and preparing for all the expected (and unexpected!) challenges that will come your way. In this post I’ve broken these steps into three categories: Before the Show, During The Show and After the Show – let’s take a look…
Before the show
Depending on when the trade show takes place, you’ve most likely got a few months up your sleeve to get ready. Now is the time to fill up your inventory and ensure details such as cost, minimum order quantities, payment terms and shipping details are finalised. You’ll also want to take care of simple tasks like getting brochures and business cards printed.
Talk to the show organiser to fully understand what is required from you. What forms need to be completed? When is your advertising material due? How to order furniture? When is move-in? Don’t wait until the last minute and please, please read through all the show material.
What is your stand going to look like? Don’t wait until you show up to decide how to merchandise your stand. Of course it’s important to be flexible and ready to make last minute adjustments, but set up the stand first at home, take photos and use these as tools during move-in, it will make life so much easier. Lastly remember to set goals for yourself. Ask yourself what you want to achieve but make sure these are realistic and measurable keeping in mind that trade shows are more than just about making sales.
During the show
Okay, breath a sigh of relief, you’ve made it. Now it’s show time. What happens next? Well, for most new exhibitors panic sets in. Please remember your goals and that normally a show lasts from three to five days so if buyers aren’t flocking to your stand in the first hour, it’s okay, don’t panic. I always explain to new exhibitors that while thousands of buyers attend, not everyone will walk by your stand, and that’s okay.
There are a few points I want to address that seem common sense, but time after time I see them forgotten by exhibitors. Let’s review…
- Dress appropriately
- Don’t eat on the stand
- Ask questions. Lots of questions
- Truly listen to your customers, their answers will tell you a lot.
- Keep track of names and details – build your database
- Smile, you never know who is going to walk onto your stand
Each night organize paperwork and file away important details so that when you are back in the office this information is ready to be processed and you can hit the ground running.
After the show
The show will end and you will be exhausted, that much I can promise.
All images are courtesy of Reed Exhibitions.
Categories: Advice and Tips, Starting a Business | 2 Comments