It’s that time of year again; we have a wealth of Trade Shows to attend.

People have very different opinions on the value of Trade Shows, we see them as a positive and look forward to the excitement and networking that comes with them.

They work for us in a number of ways:

  • It is a chance to get together with industry experts and see exciting new products and the direction different companies are taking.
  • Our team is usually spread across the country, so trade shows offer the opportunity to get together, connect and work as a team representing our organisation. There are 3 good reasons to develop teamwork as listed Shada Whebe from Potential.
    • Teamwork promotes a sense of unity and loyalty
    • Teamwork provides the business with different perspectives, problem-solving approaches, thought process and varied creative input
    • An opportunity to learn from each other
  • Gives us face to face contact with our customers.
    • Helps make a connection
    • Non-verbal cues are crucial in communicating and they tend to get lost in the Digital Age. The trade show offers the opportunity to chat with customers and really observe and connect
    • A chance to get opinions and feedback from customers
    • Addressing sensitive issues is much easier when communicating in person and this can be crucial in ensuring positive outcomes
  • Trade shows provide a great platform to launch a new product or service. It is much easier to discuss and explain in person, any new products and services, especially if they are innovative
  • Building our database is a natural outcome of Tradeshows
  • Exposure through the Trade shows marketing activities such as the show guide, website and social media is a bonus
  • Establishes our company as a serious player in the mining, earthmoving, construction, waste and recycling industries and reaffirms confidence our company is in good shape
  • Get a feel for our position in the market and observe our competitors and products
  • Personalisation is a key marketing strategy these days. We try to do this across all our marketing platforms, addressing emails with first names, segmenting our customers into groups and then sharing relevant material with them and more. Taking personalisation further Jessica Turnball talks about Heartwork in her latest Blog

'Well, there’s so much noise out there in the marketplace that people don’t give the same amount of eyeball time to each business. They spend the most time with the ones that win their hearts.’

Trade shows are all about making connections, and the opportunity to genuinely engage and really listen and there is no better way to do this than in person. We are aiming for loyalty that goes both ways and relationships, not just sales driven targets. This is more rewarding for all parties.

To get the best out of your trade show for customers:

  • Pre-register - often to save money and queuing
  • Check out who else is going from your company and  come up with a plan to learn and cover as much of the show as you can without doubling up and wasting time
  • Pre-book appointments if possible, some booths can get very busy and this ensures your time is well spent
  • Be open to new ideas
  • Put together a plan of the seminars/workshops you want to attend, who you want to see and which booths you would like to visit
  • Review the vendors you have seen each day, take notes on ideas, people you have spoken to, specials and offers, and what you liked and disliked. It is often difficult to remember the finer details the following week back at work
  • Don’t forget your business cards
  • Make an action plan once back in the office and make the most of the information you have gathered

To get the best out of your trade show for exhibitors:

  • Present a professional engaging representation of your brand, find something to help you stand out
  • Position your stand near communal areas, thoroughfares and industry leaders for traffic and standing
  • Attend shows that will attract your target market. Ensure you research the speakers, delegates, other exhibitors and popularity of the show before committing
  • Provide quality promotional material. You don’t want you customers throwing out your promotional giveaways, provide items they want to keep. If you have novelty fun promotional items make sure they are memorable, and people want to have them or they are a great conversation starter
  • Contact customers prior to the show to pre-book meetings, make it about networking
  • Offer incentives for people to visit you at the show
  • Update your social media throughout the day
  • Ensure you collect the details of all visitors to the stand
  • Measure your ROI
  • Listen
  • Spend time looking around the show yourself, to see what is out there and talk to other industry experts
  • The trade show is an opportunity to learn, through networking with competitors and developing relationships as well as attending any relevant educational sessions. Write down key ideas and concepts while at the show, as it is much harder to remember a week later back in the office. Brainstorm and discuss ideas with staff at the stand during the quiet times, use the teamwork to its potential
  • Follow up your leads quickly

There are reasons so many people still attend Trade Shows. Although we try, not all benefits can be measured. The best we can do is analyse all measurable data and get a feel for how successful the show has been. All businesses are different, and they might not work for everyone, but here at Bost Group, we see it as an opportunity to make connections offer solutions and deliver our brand identity. See you at the next Trade Show.

Thanks to these people for inspiration: