Trade shows remain an invaluable tool for businesses in countless industries. Attending these events can lead to new opportunities, new customers, new partners and more. By their nature, trade shows gather together a large number of organizations and individuals with the same general interests, therefore the chance to develop meaningful connections is tremendous.
However, firms can only enjoy these benefits if they make the most out of their trade show experiences, and this is easier said than done. Many organizations attend trade shows without a game plan in place, and they consequently fail to reap any major benefits.
To avoid such an outcome, businesses heading to trade shows need to be aware of and implement best practices. Recently, industry expert Peter Symonds, writing for Real Business, highlighted several of the most important steps that firms should take at trade shows, and the advantages that such efforts will produce.
One of the most important priorities for any organization attending a trade show is attracting attention. After all, every business with a booth at these events is competing for attention from the same limited number of attendees. Those organizations that make their booths the most appealing will be able to both connect with prospects and establish their brands - two of the greatest potential end results firms can hope to achieve, according to Symonds.
To this end, Symonds asserted, businesses must carefully design their exhibits to draw attendee attention. Custom roll-up banners can be extremely effective in this regard, he wrote, along with interactive displays and any other materials that help to distinguish one individual booth from the sea of competing exhibits. Bright colors, giveaways and other elements can all play a role.
Lew Hoff, Bartizan's president, recently presented an additional strategy that businesses can use to achieve this goal. Writing for Trade Show News Network, Hoff asserted that firms can create device-charging and WiFi hubs at their booths, providing attendees with the opportunity to recharge and use their smartphones and tablets. There is great demand for both of these services at trade shows, and by filling this need, businesses can attract attention. In the process, they gain a positive reputation and the chance to interact with many attendees.
As important as developing connections and business opportunities is, Symonds argued that executives and other personnel should also use trade shows in order to better educate themselves about their sectors.
"Trade shows that have live presentations and seminars are great places to expand your knowledge of your industry," Symonds wrote. "Visit a seminar or two and expand your industry knowledge while your sales team takes care of customer acquisition."
The knowledge gained at trade shows can lead to improved operations and practices, with the end result being a business led by personnel who are now more qualified to make intelligent decisions for the organization, allowing the company to become more efficient and more competitive in its industry.