Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to make sales, build relationships and collect qualified leads. If you followed Valley Box's 10 Things To Do Before Attending a Trade Show or Convention, then the next step is making sure you get the best return on investment from attending a Trade Show or Convention. During the show:
Arrive early and have cash on hand for parking and food. Don’t forget your marketing packages from your vehicle, it could be a long way back to the parking garage from the exhibit hall.
Get your badge from the registration area and trade show program guide, ask for a bag (or bring your own) to gather materials during your visit. If possible, request literature and samples be mailed instead of having to carry them with you.
#3 Map a Route
An updated show guide and floor plan will probably be provided when you arrive. Take some time to revise your plan, if necessary, in order to visit the booths you want to from your research. Make sure you look for last minute additions to the exhibitors and check them in the program guide. Decide which way to go when you walk into the hall and follow the aisles, keep your map handy to guide you.
#4 Social Posts
Tweeting during the show will help to maintain a relationship with other attendees as well as keep followers' attention, and give them an insider's perspective on products and events at the trade show. Here are some tips to for your mid-show tweets. Don't forget to use the Trade Show's #hashtags. Don't know about hashtags? Click here
#5 Catch your Breath
Take a break after a few hours to refresh, have a snack and get some fresh air. Visit the restroom to freshen up before you go back on the exhibit hall floor.
#6 Practice Good Manners
Make sure your badge is in plain sight while browsing trade show booths, wait your turn when waiting to speak to someone, do not cut in lines, be patient, smile, and always thank them for their time and tell them to "Have a good trade show". Follow these other Trade Show Day-Of Do's and Don'ts.
#7 Takes Notes
Ask the exhibitor for information about their company and their business card. Ask for the name of the appropriate person to speak to after the trade show for your specific product or service (now you have 2 contacts). Have a pen and notebook ready for notes and use business cards to jot down information on the back to remind yourself later.
#8 Leave Early
If you arrived on time, and accomplished everything you set out to, then don't feel guilty for leaving a bit early. This may help you to avoid long lines for buses and cabs.
#9 After Hours Events
Evaluate if any after hour parties are worth your time. Remember you're acting as an ambassador for your company... getting drunk at a trade show related event may reflect poorly not only on you, but your company.
#10 Major Don'ts at the trade show
- Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to others.
- Don't linger too long at each booth.
- Don't stay in uninteresting conversations. If the attendee or exhibitor you're speaking with isn't someone your interested in doing business with, save yourselves some time and politely move along.
- Don't forget the details. Appearances are important when it comes to first impressions and having professional shoes, clothes, and accessories, etc will go a long way.
- Don't chew gum. Use breath mints, no one wants to hear you smacking away.
- Don’t ask trite questions. Such as: "How are you doing today?" or "Are you enjoying the show?". Your opening line should engage them with something you specifically have to offer “Tell me how your company handles its [related products/services]?” "How did you find the lecture about [product/services of interest]?"
- Don’t just transmit, ask questions. Sure you want to pitch your stuff, but this is a fantastic opportunity for market research about your potential customers! Come up with 3-5 questions that you’re going to ask of people, then ask away. No need to carefully record the results — the big trends will be obvious and the rest is noise.
- Don’t sit. When you'd like to engage with conversations with others, stand. Sitting looks like you don’t want to be there. It’s uninviting. The head-height differential is psychologically off-putting.
Remember trade shows can be an incredibly effective, but they can also be a complete waste of time and money if you don't plan well enough in advance. Additionally, a trade show can be a waste of time if you don't use the momentum of the event to your advantage, read our 10 Things To Do After Attending a Trade Show or Convention
About Valley Box
Valley Box is a premiere industrial-grade packaging company protecting manufacturer's products inside custom wood crates and made-to-order material handling equipment since 1965.
Valley Box packaging experts develop specialized solutions for trade show shipping crates which require additional planning to design the interior so that display components can be conveniently removed and loaded on location, while maintaining proper protection during transit. Valley Box helps you maximize your trade show display investment by incorporating protective details such as; foam or carpet lined surfaces, metal edged corners, vibrant painted exteriors, loading ramps, pedestals on casters and more.