Startups obviously lack the customer base of more established companies, making it even more of a necessity for them to do all they can to improve their brand recognition. Trade shows are the ideal place for organizations to meet with prospects on a face-to-face basis to highlight their unique products and services.
Small Business Trends' contributor Timothy Carter recently noted that startups should reach out to communicate with customers, vendors and investors before participating in a trade show. Firms should invite these parties to the event and update them on the proceedings using newsletters and social media.
It may not be possible for startups to go all out for their trade show booth, but Carter asserted that such investment can go a long way.
"There are all sorts of trade show booths available. If you have the finances and think you'll attend lots of shows, a custom design is worth the investment. You can make your logo stand out, choose your colors, and make sure you have as much space as you need," Carter wrote. "All the details are up to you, and although you'll certainly pay for it, it's a worthwhile investment if it brings in more business."
Work still needed after the event
Startups that make any connections during a trade show should not think that the results will start adding up without additional effort. Gaining ground in a particular industry is not an easy endeavor, which is why so many new businesses close after a short period of time. Organizations that have received any contact information - email, social media or phone data - should use this to their advantage. Sending a follow-up email or social media post to audiences is a start while a phone call is a more personal way to communicate with people after an event.
According to Carter, the worst thing a startup can do following a trade show is to become lazy. Companies should encourage participants to share their contact information, and email should be the very least a firm receives from audiences.
Startups have a rough road ahead if they are not active and making those necessary industry connections. Money may be tight at first, but just one successful trade show may be just what these companies need to grow their brands in the long run, potentially turning prospects into continued business.