It’s Trade Show Season – Are You Prepared?

Trades hows are a Big Investment – Preparation is Key

Participating in a trade show can be a wise investment for any company. Preparation is important because it can ‘make or break’ how well your company succeeds during the show. Preparing for a trade show is no easy task and can take a good amount of planning and advanced groundwork. Not only do you need to plan for things such as supplies or travel arrangements, but the staff needs to be fully prepared and ready to greet customers.

Engaging with the right customers isn’t always easy, but it’s something you can master in order to draw in customers. Not many people are natural experts in sales or working in a trade booth – it takes work and practice. Here are a few things to consider that can help you and your company stand out from the crowd.

Do Things a Little Differently – Stand Out!

To stand out at a trade show, you have to do things a little differently. One simple way is to include bright colors and shiny signs in your setup because bold colors can attract customers to your booth. Take care to lay out your tables and products so that customers feel welcome to approach and don’t feel the need to scoot by quickly.

    • Design the booth to be open and welcoming
    • Ensure employees are friendly and courteous
    • Offer a prize or giveaway item that is unique

Know the Answer

You are representatives for the company and should always be prepared to answer a customer’s questions or concerns. Listen to what the customer wants and offer the answer they need. Be honest with the customer if you do not know, but offer to take the time to find out for them.

Before the big day, gather your team in a meeting and go over the company’s crucial information. Review some questions that may or not be asked and see if your employees know all of the answers. If time permits, hold a dress rehearsal and let team members take turns playing the customer and asking the group questions. When the team is better prepared, they will feel more confident when giving answers to potential customers and clients.

Before the show, make sure you:

  • Hold a meeting to go over possible questions and answers
  • Review needed information and check for understanding
  • Determine if a team lead is needed and who employees can go to for help
  • Establish help tools in case an employee gets stuck (contact numbers, a manual, etc.)

Engage Your Visitors with Qualifying Questions

Asking the right question is a great tool to qualify more leads and customers. You don’t know someone is a customer until you know what they need or want. Qualifying questions can also determine if your company’s products will be a good fit and how you can better close the deal.

While asking about what the customer wants, ask about their company or business, what they are shopping for, and why they are at the show. Find out who makes the decisions and how you can get in better contact with them. Here are a few questions that can help you understand your prospects better:

  • “What do you like most about the product/service you’re currently using?”
  • “What do you want to change about ____________?”
  • “What can our company do to help you?”
  • “Who in your company determines what vendors you use?”

When you’re not working the booth, remember that there are potential customers everywhere. Be prepared to talk about your company and products in case you are approached. Some customers find it easier to talk to people outside of the booth so carry business cards and let people know how they can reach you. Your booth is not the only place for business so make sure to be ready to handle it if an opportunity for discussion comes up.

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