Using Trade Shows To Connect With More Prospects and Increase Sales

Trade shows have been good to us. Throughout our career as online marketers, e-commerce and store owners we’ve been able to collect a tremendous amount of leads to make quite a bit of sales as well. They allow you to actually meet face to face with your prospects and give them a chance to interact with you in a more personable way. It also allows them to actually touch and see a live demonstration of your products or services.

You want to be sure to pick one that’s relevant to whatever product or service that you’re selling. If you’re selling hair products, you want to do trade shows that are centered on hair. Whether it is B2B or B2C, you want to make sure that the trade show’s attendee is coming because that show is based on the hair market. On the other hand if you’re selling skin care products, you want to make sure you go to a trade show that is set up towards skin care.

If you don’t make a sale at the actual trade show, make sure you have some kind of free giveaway or incentive to get the prospects to give you their contact information. We usually give a free sample or free report in exchange for their email address and first name. That way you’re building up a database. There are so many vendors at trade shows and they’re picking up different marketing materials from each vendor there. This way you can follow up on them even if they didn’t make a purchase at the show.

Make sure that whoever is tending to your booth at the trade show has product knowledge. If you’re not actually the one at the booth, that person should have a thorough knowledge base of the product or service that you’re offering. That way they can answer any questions that the visitor may have. The worse thing is for visitors to come by the booth and you can’t answer questions and show that you have product knowledge.

Of course you want to have someone with a pleasant personality who can strike up a good relationship with your booth visitors. I would also recommend that, while at the show, walk around and take a look at the other vendors, especially your direct competition. See how they’re exhibiting their products. Stand around and ask them a few questions. That will give you some insight as to how they’re system works.

If your product lends itself to it, have some kind of monitor playing at your booth that demonstrates the performance of your product. That seems to attract people to a booth. We’ve tried that strategy and it’s been very successful for us.

It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions (survey) and find out what kinds of challenges and problems your visitors are having. That will help you with your future marketing materials. So make sure you’re a good listener so you can improve in fulfilling the needs of the market better.

Be open for media exposure as well. A lot of times they have reporters walking around looking at different vendors trying to find a good story. So if you see someone walking around who may have on a media badge, strike up a conversation and invite them over to your booth. They may find your product or service interesting enough to actually do a story on you.

Occasionally there will be a celebrity or two and it’s a good opportunity to see if you can get a picture with them. You take that picture and put it on your website and it will give you more credibility. People love celebrities and they feel that they’re trustworthy so if you have an opportunity to get a picture with one make sure you take advantage.

You also want to make sure that your signs are legible. You want your fonts and texts to be large enough so people can read them. Also, make sure to include the benefits as well as the features of the product or service that you’re offering. In the beginning our signs weren’t readable until you were right up on the booth and that was a mistake. We made adjustments, increased the size of our fonts, listed benefits in bullet form and we saw that it increased the amount of visitors that stopped by our booth.

When the time comes to pick a location for your booth, we’ve found that the best location is at a corner where there are 3 areas that the visitor has to pass by. With a corner you have all 3 sides that the visitors have to pass so it increases your amount of exposure.

When you’re planning to work as a vendor make sure that it’s within your budget. Always count in the travel expenses (lodging, food) and make sure that your return on investment makes sense. This will only come with experience so you’ll have to try a few.

In conclusion, trade shows are an excellent way to supplement your other marketing activities on and offline. If you’re doing PPC, SEO, or social media, trade shows will make an excellent addition to your marketing arsenal. So make sure you give it a try and see how profitable it is to you. You might find it to be a great success.

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