Reputed and well-attended industry trade fairs offer a lot of opportunity. Here’s how you can get maximum return on investment from your participation – with just a tiny bit of effort on your part
Have well-trained staff: Ensure your staff and executive team members are well-trained. It’s recommended to involve only those who have complete product knowledge, interest in the brand and the organization at large, and are competent enough to handle the pressure. Since they will be the face of your company and will represent your brand directly, ensure that they are well-groomed and well-suited to a corporate environment; able to pitch to clients for contracts, and get new business leads from walk-ins.
Keep communications clear: Being transparent about your products’ features helps. Avoid being humorous with business associates at such events as not everyone will enjoy the joke. Also, avoid an overload of information, and respond to all queries in as simple and to-the-point language as possible. Avoid gimmicks or a clutter of representational visuals or content. Avoid a hardcore approach for pitching or advertising, as this might make you appear pushy and turn people off.
Give away goodies: Giving away keepsakes or a miniature product related to your business, keeps things interesting, fun and can also be a crowd-puller. Examples of good giveaways are popcorn, juice, mints, cupcakes and eco-friendly keepsakes, and keep things light and easy, even in a serious business-like environment. Organise relevant online/offline contests for a larger audience with prizes and vouchers, and save all participation forms as it helps you acquire more contacts.
Get on social media: While coverage from journalists and trade fair analysts at such events helps you get free publicity, also ensure that you create a social media presence and keep updating posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and such. These could be in the form of live updates, pictures, blogs, business articles and more. Sharing and reposting media articles and videos gets you visibility with minimal effort, manpower and expense at your end.
Watch your body language: Dress well and neatly, as appearances matter at trade fairs. Avoid sitting when you have walk-ins approaching your kiosk, and be proactive and move about to meet potential clients and associates. Smile, listen carefully to what people have to ask or say and speak only if you have something relevant to add. Keep things like business cards, catalogs, pamphlets and display items handy to save time if you have to give them out.
Follow up after the fair: Follow up with leads immediately after the event is over. Thank old buyers for their support and arrange for meetings with newer vendors. Try to connect with every person who entered your kiosk; it’s recommended to keep a visitors book to maintain their records. In case you’ve received a moderate response to your participation in the trade fair, look for quality leads. The quality of the inquiry matters more than the quantity of walk-ins, and with a proper follow up, you can still generate good business.
What are some other ways in which you can maximize your trade fair participation? Share your views with us.