When running your own business, you must make the most of any opportunities you can find that will put your brand on the map. For example, this could include using social media to introduce your brand to new clients.
However, while digital marketing endeavors are important, it’s crucial that you do not forget the value of interacting face-to-face with potential customers either. After all, many studies have found that “face-to-face sales techniques strengthen relationships with prospects and customers, enhance brand credibility, and enable reps to communicate key value propositions more effectively.”
As a result, you should always be on the lookout for ways to interact in person with your customers, even if you run an online store. For example, you could attend a local trade show.
A trade show is an event where businesses come together to showcase their latest products to large audiences. In most cases, you’ll attend trade fairs with other companies who work in the same industry or sell compatible services. There are many benefits to attending these events, such as:
- Increased brand awareness.
- The chance to identify and connect with new customers.
- Improved sales figures.
- Networking opportunities.
- Learning more about your industry and upcoming industry changes.
If you’ve never attended a trade show before (as a business or customer), the idea may feel a little daunting. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to steer your business towards success.
Set up an eye-catching booth
At any given trade show event, there are likely hundreds of businesses in attendance. This means that you need to find a way to make your booth stand out from the crowd. For example, you should ensure that your branding is displayed clearly and consistently throughout your booth. You may also want to choose a specific theme for your booth. For example, if you’re selling clothing, why not make your booth look like the inside of a wardrobe?
Use technology to your advantage
While you may have brought a few products along with you, you may also want to use technology, such as iPads or tablets, to show visitors your full product range, or to encourage them to sign up for a mailing list so that you can keep them up-to-date with your business. This is a great way to ensure your interactions with potential customers are meaningful and bring around a great ROI. As a result, you may want to look into iPad rental ahead of time so that you have enough equipment to hand.
Hand out freebies
Everybody loves a freebie, and handing out free products or product samples can be a great way to drive traffic towards your booth. If these products also feature company branding, they can be a great way to boost customer recognition or brand awareness in the long term. However, when handing out promotional products you must choose products that are useful – as otherwise they may quickly get discarded once the event has finished. You should also ensure that they relate back to your brand or product. For example, if you run a desert company, promotional products such as sweets, cake pops and other sweet snacks are an excellent choice.
Send your most confident staff
When it comes to trade shows, you should ensure that you send over your friendliest teammates to get the job done – those that can confidently approach potential customers and bring them into a conversation or get them to try out your products. This will make the entire process run smoothly and bring around the best results for your brand. You may want to brainstorm ahead of time for some good conversation starters to get the ball rolling. However, you should also encourage your team to be relaxed and personable, as if the conversation seems overly sales-focused, customers will quickly lose interest. Instead, tell them to view their interactions as an informal chat through which they show off some of the cooler products you have to offer.
Prepare a presentation
In addition to a hall filled with booths, many trade shows offer participants the chance to present their latest innovative products or services in front of industry professionals, customers, and more. As a result, you should brush up on your presenting skills ahead of time and ensure that you pull together a killer presentation that is sure to impress. One of the easiest ways to achieve that goal is to have a clear understanding of your goals. What do you want from this presentation? Do you want to use it as a springboard to launch a new product to a captive audience, or to simply generate hype around your brand/ideas? If you’re a relatively new business, your presentation could instead serve as your introduction to the industry.
Hand out leaflets
You should also be sure to hand out plenty of leaflets and business cards throughout the day. After all, customers will likely stop by hundreds of stalls throughout the day, which means that one business can quickly blend into the other in their minds. Handing out leaflets means that they’re more likely to remember your brand and what you have to offer. You can also feature important information on these leaflets, such as your social media handles, website address, and contact information, which increases the chances of them reaching out and making a purchase in the future.
Don’t forget to network
While it’s easy to prioritize your interactions with your customers during trade shows (especially if you intend to drive sales), it’s also important that you don’t miss out on the networking opportunities these events present. For example, you should attend any presentations or workshops that relate to your own work, so that you can learn more about your ever-changing industry. You should also chat to other vendors and take some time to visit their stalls on your break. This can help you to make lasting, meaningful relationships with industry leaders that could serve you well in the future.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.