Making the Most of: Trade Shows

TODAY’S BUZZ TIP | July 27, 2009

If you regularly exhibit at trade shows then you know that it takes a significant chunk out of your corporate budget so you better make the most of it.  Most companies focus on having a fancy booth, spending tons of money on it.  However, what’s the point of having a beautiful booth if no one shows up?  It’s key to do some pre-show outreach to ensure that both buyers and editors make a bee line to your booth.  Here’s how:

Send an eblast to customers and potential buyers a couple of weeks before the show;  focus on a new product as most would be interested in what’s new at the show.

Send an eblast/invitation to the press a week before the show. Follow up a few days before the show to ensure that editors received your eblast and to make schedule appts.  Actually, most editors just like to browse the show and rarely make firm appts., but you never know.

Also, if the show has a press office they will probably do an eblast to their list of buyers and editors — make sure you get in on it.

It’s surprising how many companies don’t have a catalog or lookbook.  If you are going to be showing your products, you have to have a lookbook so buyers and press can order or request samples after the show.  If you only have a linesheet that’s fine, but for the press be sure to remove the wholesale prices.

Giveaway: To drive traffic to your booth, think about having a special promotion such as a giveaway.  Have everyone who visits your booth put their business card in a fish bowl and then pick a winner at the end of the show.  You can giveaway one of your products or the latest tech gadget.  Make sure what you giveaway is something that will create excitement and that people will want to win.

More on trade shows to come…


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