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How to Prepare for Trade Shows and Conventions

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Prepare for Trade Shows and ConventionsThere are key events throughout the year for all industries and most of these come in the form of conventions or trade shows. These mass gatherings are an opportunity for businesses to promote their extensive list of products, usually with a focus on the latest releases. They also provide a chance for industry professionals to mingle and lay the groundwork for potential future collaborations with other companies as well as personal career progression.

If you are a new business or an individual that is new to the trade show and convention experience, here are some things you need to keep in mind in the months leading up to your event.

Select the Right Team

You won’t be able to manage a busy schedule that could include meetings and presentations as well as hosting your exhibit booth on your own. Even a small business will need at least 2 to 4 people attending these events to keep up with all the flurry of activity that tends to take place during conventions and trade shows.

However, you must select the right people for the job. You will want people who have strong social skills and the ability to engage passers-by in conversation and interest them in your booth. Perhaps some members of your sales and marketing team would be best for this. You will also need them to be punctual, reliable and efficient to ensure you can best present your business to other industry professionals.

Make Your Booth Amazing

Although you might make the best products on the market, if your exhibit booth looks dull and fails to catch people’s attention, it could have a detrimental effect on your business. One of the purposes of this type of event is to spread the word about your company and promote the business and its products. Therefore, you must make your booth look incredible, even if you have one of the smallest ones at the trade show.

For those who have a bigger budget, consider getting a double deck exhibit booth as these stand out from the crowd and provide plenty of space for storage and private meetings. If these are out of your price range, get creative and think of cost-effective ways you can decorate your booth to draw people in. However, remember to discuss this with the venue and find out what the health and safety codes are as there are likely to be restrictions to what you can do.

Prepare Marketing Materials

Again, the whole point of these events is to promote, promote, promote! You might have your products on display, but with no additional materials or further information available, this will be pointless. As a business, you should have already developed a marketing campaign for your products; therefore, you should have marketing material for these things at the ready. If you want to revamp your campaigns before you attend these events you can do, but this will depend on your budget and how much time you have. Whatever you do, just remember to bring those marketing materials with you to share with potential customers and clients at the event.

Booklets, pamphlets and sales brochures that people can take away with them are all brilliant items to have. You may even want to consider making up small gift bags with various marketing materials for your products and perhaps include some free samples where you can.

Secure Meetings

These events are usually sales orientated and many meetings that are business to business or business to client are held to secure deals and contracts. As a smaller, lesser-known business, you might find trying to secure these meetings a bit daunting and difficult, but you should still attend.

These meetings are an opportunity to widen your customer base and increase your business’s visibility across the industry. Even if you fail to secure as many sales as you would have liked, at least more people are becoming familiar with your company and know what you do. It’s also a chance to learn how you can improve your sales tactics and marketing.

Presentations

If you are going to give a presentation at one of these events, make sure it is engaging and memorable. Don’t rely on boring PowerPoint slides and monotone speeches. Instead, prepare a fun, interactive presentation that doesn’t allow your audience the chance to let their mind wander or to fall asleep while you’re on stage. If you’re not giving a presentation this time around, it’s still worth going to see others that are happening during these events as you can learn from other industry leaders and innovators, helping to keep you up to date and relevant as a business.

Although they are work-related events, trade shows and conventions can be great fun to attend. There’s always a lot to see on offer from other businesses and they’re great networking opportunities. If you’re lucky enough to attend one abroad, there’s also the chance to travel! Just remember these key points to help you prepare for your next big trade show event.

8 Surefire Ways to Jumpstart Growth using Trade Shows Event

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | 8 Surefire Ways to Jumpstart Growth using Trade Shows Event

Developing a strong presence is critical for small businesses in California. And, trade show can be the ultimate way to achieve this goal. Right from enhancing visibility to establishing credibility, trade show can be the ideal platform to kick-start your business. To begin, either you can choose a creative booth or a winning trade show displays to create the truly awe-inspiring moments for the passersby or choose event signage ideas which are creative and unique in all respect. Anyway, Trade shows works incredibly to target your prospective customers and harnessing it to get word out for your business is the pathway to the next level.

Why You Need Trade Shows?

Trade shows in West Coast offers limitless possibilities and is really worth the time and money you pour in to create groundwork for your startup. Not only you get great visibility and exposure but also the valuable feedback from the customers itself. Plus, there are other great opportunities such as creating a strong business network and keeping an eye over the competitor as well. Moreover, there are relentless opportunities that ready to be embraced; all you need to do is to be on the right place at the right time. And, here are some excellent ways to do this. Take a look!

1. Create Relationships and Contacts

As a matter of fact trade shows brings future or potential customers closer by generating interest in your product or services. Another critical reason, business owners can easily communicate and take feedback about their products from visitor’s in-person and could also allow them engage with their product. Not only does it allows customers to share their feedback but also assist you to perceive your product from the customer’s point of view. Apart from it, you stand chance to interact with investors, and financial assistance provider.

2. Exploring the Possible Sales Opportunities

Being a highly targeted and profitable business arena, trade show offers incredible opportunities which can be easily converted into sales. With exclusive planning and an appropriate strategy, it’s quite easy to compel and convince to attend the fair and eventually invest in your product and services. Apart from the engagement and interaction, it is a great way to reach out to visitors in a bid to influence to buy your products and ultimate gaining more sales.

3. Improving Skills and Welcoming a Learning Experience

A lot of trade shows have this additional program that aims at educating people about the programs and businesses participating in it. So along with knowing your audiences better you will also get to know your competitors well. Trade fair can be a great opportunity for you to understand the strategies well as the prevalent business trends that can help your business to grow and prosper.

4. Spreading Brand Awareness

This is the most visible but the most undermined opportunity presented by the trade fairs. A huge proportion of companies join the trade fairs and expos to make their brand visible among the clients and customers. The more people see your business the more they try to buy them. If you are just a blooming startup then spreading brand awareness with these trade fairs can be an exceptional way to be known among people.

5. Build a Customer Base

Staying competitive in your space and consistently dominating the sphere would require more than just advertising, product improvement, and market expansion. Your entire business revolves around customers not around your products, so your focus should be largely on getting more and more customers rather than tweaking your products. Possessing and maintaining a massive customer base could be crucial in regards, not only does it help in sustaining your market footprints but also keep the steady cash flows going. So, it is essential for new business to put more efforts in building a customer repository that you can easily tap in using email marketing. Trade shows can help in getting more leads by assisting in building a targeted customer list and also to generate extremely qualified leads.

6. Be Cost effective

At times, the success is more about keeping things simple rather than making them complex. For small and medium business, staying within their means plays a significant role in keeping resources and efficiency to the maximum. Trade shows here an advantage over other advertising medium in terms of cost per acquisition. With trade shows, the number of attendees, visitors, and buyers are pretty high which reduces the cost per sale to a quite low margin. Hence, it offers a great return on your investment.

7. Increased Understanding

Trading shows go miles in winning the faith of the customers. With one-on-one interaction, customers are able to build a deeper understanding for your products or services. This is pretty much the reason why in a survey 74% people agreed that they are likely to purchase a product advertised in trade shows. It works wonderfully in bridging the gap between businesses and end user. People buy it more since they are more exposed to benefits, outcomes, and advantage of the product. Plus, they can suggest their valuable feedback which can transform the product a greater deal.

8. Research Competitors

While trade shows with too much hype are aimed at promoting product or services, it can be exquisite way to observe and determine the marketing tactics of your competitors. Take a note of their promotion strategy and incorporate the unique elements that are missing in your campaigns to build more engaging and attention worthy campaigns. Doing this process ensures that you become a key player in your niche and always stay ahead of your competitor.

The bottom line

Trade fairs could be a showstopper when it comes to developing your brand recognition and awareness. Therefore, each of your actions and advertising campaign should revolve around the interest of customers and using it to your advantage. Eyeing for something remarkable and noteworthy not only be beneficial but also will be fruitful in the longer run.

Preparing For That First Business Convention

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article |Convention|Preparing For That First Business ConventionAs a firm, many milestones come your way. Your first five employees show the start of something promising while surviving your first financial year shows that you have some merit behind what you’re doing. Additionally, framing the first dollar you have ever received in a revenue context can help you tremendously.

But there’s almost nothing as big as that first business convention. For many firms, this can make them as nervous as can be, almost as if the company was a shy entity preparing for its first date. This is because not only does a firm wish to impress, but they will be in the presence of industry leaders whom they may wish to network with.

Of course, the public visibility of such an event is often something that holds additional merit, because we wish to show everyone that we have what it takes to stand with the big boys. To that end, let us consider how to appropriately prepare for your first business convention. With the following words, you’re sure to hit it out of the park:

Hire A Visible Lot

When it comes to booking your expo space, most event halls will ask that you hire an allotment of space. Within this, you may be assigned a booth, or you may be allowed to construct your own display feature yourself. It’s important that you invest in one that will be visible and also gain traffic from passers-by walking the event. In some cases, larger space is preferable to visible traction, and vice versa depending on your goals.

For product demonstrations, it might be worth erecting a large indoor tent for people to walk in and engage with your demonstration rather than watching it behind a large crowd. Additionally, if engagement and ensuring people sign up to follow your social media accounts is your goal, a smaller space may be preferable. It all depends on what you hope to achieve, and if you think that’s a realistic goal or not.

Regardless, it’s essential to consider what your needs are before booking the space, because you need to understand what your budget is going to look like. Additionally, hiring out space on a main stage for a large product demonstration may cost a little more. It’s important to be on top of your planning for this and plan your presence to a T.

Promote Your Attendance

It’s important to promote your attendance thoroughly if you hope for people to come and visit. You might not be a massive attraction at this stage, so it can be worthwhile to promote the event above all things. This is an easier sell, because it shows potential visitors that they have the chance to come, maybe see you, but also have a great day or weekend at said show. Using the event’s social media kit, you may align your marketing with theirs. But if you hope to use their licensed work for anything you may need to discuss this with the event organizers and gain express permission for this. If it’s solely to benefit the event, there may be some room for negotiations.

Craft Your Merchandise

Merchandise is an essential part of running a competent trade show event. If you cater to this carefully, you can market yourself with considerable weight. Consider the practical items you may give out as freebies. For example, if it’s in the middle of summer, a branded baseball cap can be a great idea. If you book an event space near the entrance of the convention center and you hand out a branded tote bag to each visitor, you have managed to give said visitors a place to store all of their other belongings and merch they are given when walking around the event. When all of the competition’s branded merch is hidden within your large branded bag, you can see who the victor of the public imaging war will be.

Merch is a great way to help those who do not know of your presence come to check out your stall, especially if you’re giving away great items such as hooded sweatshirts for engaging with a product demonstration. Everyone likes free stuff, and if the first memory a potential expo-goer has of your firm is something quality, practical and complimentary? You can be sure they’re going to give you that second look later on down the line.

With this advice, you’re certain to prepare well for that first business convention.

What You Need to Know About Trade Show Marketing

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | What You Need to Know About Trade Show MarketingThe First Impression

In a world of e-commerce and online activities, trade shows can be overlooked; however, this offline alternative is far from being unimportant. Contemporary trade shows offer the opportunity for an entire industry to put their best foot forward, attracting potential investors and customers. A myriad of competitors shall be vying for trade show revenue, and the first impression of a trade show stand can make or break a sale. Naturally, the first step in creating an engaging and approachable stall is to have sturdy pop up stands; nothing is more uninviting than a collapsed stand.

Modern trade show stall formats tend to utilise open curved fabric stands as they are approachable from the front, right, and left, rather than the conventional booth or cubical format. The open format permits the engagement of more potential customers, because it’s generally more inviting and interpersonal, as customers are free to come as they please without the barrier of a booth between the salesman and the customer.

The Display

The fascination with a stall begins with what observers can passively see before they decide whether or not to further engage with the stall. Images and brand names are conventional passive marketing materials. A projected video or slideshow, however, tends to generate more interest as it allows observers to passively view a demonstration of a product or service. Passive marketing materials are designed to generate interest and proffer brand awareness, comparable to a giant advertisement.

Gimmick style materials, such as pens and caps, are popular and can be used to promote brand awareness outside of the trade show; however, these should only be handed out after a customer engagement as a reminder of the brand.

Active marketing materials then advance the cause of passive materials and commonly constitute leaflets, business cards, brochures, booklets, and even interactive displays. These materials are designed to engage potential customers on a deeper level by:

  • Building customer relationships,
  • Establishing the expertise of a company or business, and
  • Delving into the question of ‘why’ a company or business is better than its’ competition.

Active marketing materials contain the information a potential customer needs. Interactive kiosk displays and tablet devices generally have higher levels of engagement; however, leaflets and booklets can be taken home for consideration in an environment outside the exhilaration of a trade show.

The Continuation

Trade Shows are merely an entry-point for customers and the attained sales leads must be developed into business. A resourceful method is to categorise sales leads into different priority groups, for example:

  • Group 1 – Very Interested
  • Group 2 – Somewhat Intrigued
  • Group 3 – Hesitant

Each group must be treated differently as resources ought not to be wasted by attempting to convince hesitant customers and allowing interested customers to slip away. Naturally, very interested clients ought to be contacted first for any follow-up processes, followed by group 2 and then group 3.

The Strategy

Prior to committing to a presence at a trade show, a marketing strategy must be created. While potential customers are seeking business, a stall must still outrank its’ competition, and the mere presence at a trade show does not guarantee engagement, nor does it guarantee sales.

What are the primary and secondary goals of attending the trade show?

The objectives of trade show marketing can differ, for example, a business may wish to:

  • Generate sales or leads
  • Build business relationships
  • Build brand awareness
  • Reinforce existing leads
  • Promote recent developments for training opportunities

Attaining a sale or leads is generally the primary objective; however, during a trade show, this may encounter some resistance. As a secondary objective, for group 2 and 3 leads, consider promoting other avenues of engagement, such as email / social media subscriptions, or proffering brand awareness to increase direct engagement with the company when they are considering a business proposal.

Trade show stalls ought to create a lasting impression and a memorable experience.

This is commonly assessed within the first few seconds of an engagement, which is why the first impression is crucial. Sales scripts and pitches must reflect this objective and the different avenues a potential customer could be taken down should be mapped out. This will proffer a smooth experience and when combined with active marketing materials, shall greatly assist in achieving the stall’s predetermined goals.

Trade show events differ; choose one which matches the goals of the business.

Trade shows can be in the form of:

  • Networking events,
  • Industry events,
  • Seminars,
  • Conferences,
  • Sponsored events, and
  • Webinars, amongst others.

If the primary objective of the business is to increase brand awareness or build business relationships, then a networking event may be the most suitable.

Finally, assess the results.

Consider what factors constitute a successful campaign, what was popular and what was not.

  • Were the primary and secondary objectives achieved?
  • Did leads materialise?
  • Are people talking about the brand?
  • How many people subscribed?
  • How many are actively engaging with the company?

Let the numbers do the talking and assess the results. This shall determine whether another trade show should be attended, or whether other marketing avenues ought to be considered.