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Trade shows are incredibly important if you want to expand your market reach. However, they can be complicated to organize.

You have to have your end objective in mind, set aside a budget, book your stand and decide how you are going to meet your goals and get the very most out of attending your chosen trade show. Here, we look at a few things that may help.

trade show

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Know why you are there

There is little point going to an exhibition if you do not know why you are there or what you want to achieve from it. Perhaps you want to increase awareness of your brand, or maybe you want to negotiate with some potential new suppliers or distributors. Perhaps you are there to launch a brand new product and want to build up a bit of hype. It does not matter why you are there, as long as you know why and what you want to achieve at the end of it – as well as knowing how you want to meet that goal.

Choose the right people

The team that you take to a trade show represents your business, so it is essential to make sure they are perfect. They need to be confident and be able to talk to anyone without appearing cocky and arrogant. They also need to be knowledgeable about your business and understand the goals that you are aiming to achieve. If you are launching a new product, make sure they know all there is about it. If you are intending to network and negotiate, make sure that the know whom to approach and what to do. 

Scrutinize the attendee’s list

Everyone at that trade show matters. They are either potential customers or clients, businesses or people that you can partner with in some way or your competitors. Before you go, scrutinize the list of attendees and make a note of whom you want to speak to and where they will be to organize your time and make it as efficient as possible.

Draw the passers-by in

Trade events are explicitly designed to help attendees display their services or products and attract desirable prospects. Brands like you are purchasing their position there in order to expand their distribution and maximize the effectiveness of their marketing strategy. You want to make sure that you get the best booth positioning and a powerful stand design, perhaps with an eye-catching tension fabric display to really grab attention. You will be in direct competition with other exhibitors who may go one step further, offering things like free cocktails or sushi for anyone who stops by their booth, or other great lengths to draw in passers-by. You need to work out how you are going to do that, without resorting to cheap gimmicks.

Trade shows have plenty of benefits for business owners. You should consider your options carefully and think strategically about the kind of show you want to attend and how you can stand out once you’re there.