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Six things you should consider for your next trade show

If you’re planning your first exhibition appearance, it’s never a good idea to jump in without some careful research first. Unless you have an unlimited budget and plenty of time to experiment with exhibits, there are a few things you’ll need to do before deciding which show to attend and what exhibition booth contractor you should hire. Exhibition stand design companies, also known as, exhibition stand builders, exhibition stand designers, are the experts of exhibition shows and trade shows. They know how to make you look good on the floor.    

Go to a few exhibitions

Before deciding to appear at an exhibit yourself, visit a few exhibits of the type you’d choose to go to. Make a note of who’s there. Check out if your major competitors are attending or participating in the show. Do you see any important people or organizations in your industry? Are there any businesses whose services or products complement your own, instead of competing directly? Do these shows attract your target audience especially when they use custom build exhibition stands? Would your company stick out like a sore thumb here, or blend into the background?

When you’re just starting out, it’s often a good idea to choose a smaller regional show rather than a huge national show in which to test the waters. National shows attract a lot of visitors but they also attract lots of huge companies with enormous budgets and it can be tough to out-compete those companies on the exhibit floor. In addition, their target audience is often much broader and may not be ideal for your business. Companies with huge budgets hire the best exhibition stand builders in the industry. Whether you want to exhibit in USA or Germany, they know who to call first for assistance. They have contact details of Trade show Booth builders Las Vegas, exhibition stand manufacturer Amsterdam, Booth design company Germany, exhibition stand manufacturer USA, and many more.  

Talk to your customers

Ask your major customers what shows they attend regularly. Chances are, if your best customers go to a certain trade show, you’re likely to find others like them there. If most of your customers don’t go to trade shows, ask if they would consider attending one if you sent them a free pass. Generating interest in your appearance among your regular customers can be an important factor in your success.

Your booth: rent or buy? 

Many companies start out by renting an exhibition stand design their first time at an exhibition. This has several advantages. It’s often cheaper than buying; rented booths can be customized with your graphics, and renting doesn’t require you to commit to an expensive booth before you know whether attending exhibitions is going to be a yearly routine for your company. Before you buy a booth, consider whether renting would be better for your budget. For better understanding, talk to exhibition stand design companies to get an estimate of the overall cost involved. 

Staffing

Outsource or staff from within? Do you have enough staff to run a trade show? Many small-business owners attend shows solo, but this means you’ll have nobody to watch the booth while you take breaks-and you don’t want to miss any opportunities. In addition, it’s difficult to keep your energy up for two or three eight-hour days on your feet. Consider whether you have enough staff to spare a salesperson or two for the show, or whether outsourcing staff is a better option.

 

Consider your promotional plan

Once you’ve chosen a show, you’ll need to let people know you’re going. Send free passes to valued customers-hopefully you’ve gauged their interest in attending beforehand. Consider sending out a promotional mailing to people you’ve done business with before, offering a free giveaway for those who attend. Perhaps you can secure media coverage for your attendance, or announce it on your blog or in the company newsletter. You’ll need to plan your promotion in advance to make sure your customer base knows about your appearance and has a reason to come see you.

Have a follow-up plan

Careful follow-up is just as important to your success as the right exhibit stand and giveaways. Long before your exhibition appearance, you’ll need to plan how you intend to keep in touch with the leads you’ve gathered. Make sure you have a method for collecting leads, determining who the most high-priority prospects are, gathering and storing information, and getting in touch after the show. With a smooth follow-up process, you’re much more likely to make your exhibit appearance worthwhile.

Attending an exhibition takes careful planning-and you’ll need to choose your first show strategically, especially if you’re working with a limited budget. Attend plenty of exhibitions beforehand and talk to your customers to see what shows they attend. Research your options for acquiring an exhibition stand, and consider your promotional and follow-up strategy. If you do, you’re much more likely to choose the right exhibit and make the most of your appearance there.

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