Attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow is a great way to network, show off your company’s capabilities and generate leads. Are you taking advantage of this face-to-face time with vendors and potential customers? We’ve compiled a few tips for maximizing your efforts at a tradeshow—take a look.
As an Attendee
Tradeshows can offer attendees hundreds of opportunities to meet new people, learn industry trends and explore new products and services. Time flies on the tradeshow floor, so go in with a plan and consider the following strategies:
Do your research: Make a list of the booths and individuals you wish to visit during the show. A day on the show floor goes by quickly. Having networking and conversational objectives will allow you to make the most of the show.
Plot your path: This one is key for big shows. Grab a map at the door, locate your booths of interest and take the most strategic path to visit each of them. Plotting your path allows you to visit your desired booths—with enough time to peruse the rest of the show floor later.
Pack light: Business cards, wallet, water and a bag to carry it all—those are the tradeshow basics. Packing too much can weigh you down and tire you out earlier than necessary. Also keep in mind that tradeshows are freebie smorgasbords. It’s easy to get caught up in the all the free stuff—pens, flashlights, t-shirts, rulers, hats, etc. Be discerning when grabbing your freebies!
As an Exhibitor
Exhibiting at a tradeshow may seem daunting, but when done right, it can be a breeze—and even fun. With the goal of generating awareness, interest and leads, consider implementing a few of the following exhibitor tips.
Think ahead: Identify your tradeshow objectives well ahead of the show. Are you there to get leads? Network with suppliers? Promote your business? All of the above? Set a few key objectives and plan your pre-, during- and post-show promotions accordingly. Be sure to communicate these objectives with your booth staff to ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of goals and conversational outcomes.
Watch your body language: Approaching a booth can be intimidating for an attendee—welcome them with an open posture and a smile. Avoid crossing your arms or standing in large groups with other employees.
Follow up: Make the most of your tradeshow presence by conducting proper follow-up with your attendees. Set a plan prior to the show. Will you be contacting them via phone or email? Will you be distributing the leads across your sales team? Simple follow up can help can seal the deal.
Utilize social media: You’re spending the money to exhibit at a show—tell your fans! Post photos and updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to drive traffic to your booth at the show. Be sure to use the tradeshow’s hashtag, if applicable.
Tradeshows present a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, learn more about products and services, promote your business and solidify your position as an industry leader. Implementing a few of these tips can help make the most of your tradeshow experience and ensure your time is well spent.