Everyone attending a trade show is looking for an advantage and wants to make the deal that will lead to long-term success. With thousands of people networking and building connections, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out and secure a breakout deal. Ultimately, success comes down to two factors - preparation and follow-up.
A significant amount of the work that goes into staging a successful trade show occurs before the door is ever opened. After all, exhibitors and attendees who are not properly prepared will fail to wow essential contacts. Positioning yourself for success can mean the difference between developing new business relationships and wasting your time and money.
Prepare a plan of action
The Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center stated that it helps to have a concrete objective. The more you can define what types of opportunities you want to pursue, the better you can prepare for those chances before they present themselves. Your goal will directly impact the approach you take in securing information or exhibiting your product.
Trade shows continue to evolve, and many exhibitors now incorporate video, social media and mobile marketing strategies into booths. With so many options, it is essential to consider what you are trying to accomplish to create a crisp, clear brand image. The important thing with these strategies is to include specifics for your target audience. For instance, video product demonstrations can highlight features for buyers, while social media is valuable for continuing conversations with consultants.
Targeting efforts will help you cut to the chase when the right opportunity comes along. Attendees want to know what makes you special, and with a solid objective outline, you can quickly and clearly provide the information needed to interest your audience, and keep them interested long after the trade show. For this reason, preparation for events should always include strategies for following up on promising leads. Planning how contact information will be gathered and even preparing additional marketing material lets you pursue new opportunities when they are fresh, increasing your chance of success. Forbes noted that every interaction is a chance to secure new information. You never know who will be responsible for a fortunate turn, so it is essential to be prepared to act on every lead.