If you are tempted to make a foray in the dizzying world of trade shows, you will be competing with hundreds of other startups and small businesses looking to do the same. Trade shows can be the ideal way of getting your brand and your name noticed by the big wigs of the industry you specialize in. At the same time, you also run the risk of being swallowed up within a sea of other bland companies. It’s vital that you approach a trade show with an astute mind and a well-constructed plan. Take a look to see how you can get the most out of your first trade show experience.

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Do Your Research

Make sure that you start small and be relevant. There’s no point signing up to appear at the trade fair three hundred miles away that is specifically tailored to VR and gaming companies when you pride yourself on honing the perfect marketing campaigns. Search for a local trade show that will have plenty of footfall full of people that want to see companies like yours. When you’ve signed up, try to get a plan of the venue and work out where your stall will be pitched at the earliest opportunity so you can start your logistics planning.

What Are Your Objectives?

It’s vital that you know what you want to achieve at the end of your two days at the trade show so you can measure the success of your attendance. Trade shows cost money, and you need a plan to work out whether it is worth doing a second. Do you want to increase your mailing list by 30% or do you want to sell at least twenty units of product or do you want three hundred new followers on social media? If you make your goal quantitative, the impact is easy to measure.

The Stall

Plenty of small postage stamp sized stalls can be dressed to stand out from the swathe of other similar pitches. Consider setting up a PowerPoint slideshow on a couple of laptops to hold people’s attention, install a bespoke indoor LED display to draw in the crowds and consider the free merchandise that you might like to give away. Making a coffee for the people who visit your stall in a branded disposable cup means free advertising across the venue as people wander around. Allow visitors to touch the product you are offering, let them see it in action and explain to them how it can make their lives better, faster or more efficient.


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Look The Part

Dress to impress with a trouser suit, a pencil skirt and blazer, or some power shoes. Looking and feeling professional will boost your confidence and allow you to speak to interested parties at your stall with ease. People who buy from your business aren’t just focusing on your startup, they will also be looking at you and how you present information. Smile and be enthusiastic.

Being a trade show novice can be daunting. However, follow this advice, and you will soon be enhancing your trade show experience and seeing your business go from strength to strength.