Home > Marketing > Exhibiting at a Trade Show? What to Do During the Show

Exhibiting at a Trade Show? What to Do During the Show

WhatToDoYour company or your law firm has spent a great deal of money on travel, booth space, giveaways and signage for your most important trade show of the year.  Marketing has spent a great deal of time on the event.  Don’t waste the money or effort.  Employees attending the event must be educated on what needs to be done during the event so that the organization gets the most bang for the buck.  Your employees must be engaged during the event.  And as much relevant information much be captured during the event.

In summary for a successful trade show you must educate your staff, engage 0thers and capture information.  Let’s go into more detail on these:

1. Educate Your Staff – Your staff needs to be aware that their effort at the trade show will be critical for the success of the show which leads to organization success.  The employees are not there to party, gamble, drink or have a family vacation.  They will be representing their organization at all times and it will be long hard work.    The booth captain needs to educate the employees working the booth on the following:

  • Staffing hours – when they need to work
  • Staffing attire – what they need to wear
  • Booth rules – such as no joking, no sitting, focus on others not employees, keep booth clean, etc.
  • Giveaway rules – when and how to give prospects the giveaway items
  • Contact process – how to collect information and where does it go after collection

2. Engage Others – A trade show attracts people of all types that could be of some benefit to your organization.  Many meetings could be setup with these individuals before the show but some will be spontaneous meetings.  Here are people types that should be engaged by your employees during the show:

  • Existing clients – make them feel wanted and listen to their needs and problems
  • Prospective clients – gather as much information as possible from them including company name, person name, email address and why they stopped by your booth
  • Trade show staff – find out what other shows they put on and discuss exhibiting next year, they are an excellent source of information on the market
  • Press – find out what you could provide them such as news releases and magazine articles as well being a source of information on your competitors
  • Current vendors including 3rd party tools that work with your product or hardware products that attach to your product
  • Potential vendors – get to know them to see if or how you will work with them in the future
  • Current consultants including those that do services at your clients.  Find out their future plans and issues.
  • Potential consultants, if you are a service company that uses consultants, you need to make contacts with possible future consultants
  • Potential employees since a company should always be recruiting new talent and many times people looking for jobs attend trade shows

3. Capture Information – During the trade show the staff should capture information on those engaged such as potential clients and on competitors that are present at the show.    Review your competitors and record their booth traffic, messaging, giveaways, professionalism and products/services they are featuring.  Capture as much information you can on your competition.  For prospective clients make sure you clearly record the organization’s name, contact name, email address and purpose for them being at the show.  This information will be put into a database after the show.  These contacts will be contacted by your company right after the show to see if there are any follow up items.  One person should be responsible for keeping all of this information.  Sales reps should not keep business cards in their pockets.

Again, show attendance is very expensive for an organization and its benefit needs to be maximized.  This is done by education, engagement and collection.   Shows can be rewarding but they are hard work.

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