The primary benefit of a Trade Show or Trade Fair is the concentration of both sellers and buyers in one place with common interest: network.

Trade shows or trade fairs are categorized by industry, in order to grasp the magnitude of these events, let’s take a look at the following:

Trade Place/ Dates Visitors
Bologna Motor Show – Auto Show Bologna, Italy / December 7, 2006 1,200,000 in 2006
Cairo International Book Fair – Books Cairo, Egypt / January 24, 2007 2,000,000 in 2007
CeBit –  Information and communication technology Hanover, Germany / March 15-21, 2007 480,000 in 2007
E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) – Video Games Los Angeles, California /June 2-4 60,000 in 2006; 41,000 in 2009
EuroShop – Retailing February/ March 2011 /Düsseldorf, Messe, Germany 104,766 in 2008
Fiera Internazionale dell’agricoltura e della zootecnia – Food and Beverages April/May 2010 / Foggia, Italy 162,466 in 2008
INTERNOGRA – Catering March 18-23, 2011 / Hamburg, Germany 111,185 in 2008
Photokina – Photography September 26, 2006 / Cologne Trade Fair, Germany 169,000 in 2008
Trade Show Video – Computer August 11-15, 2010 / Toronto, Canada 1,240,000 in 2009

Can you image all those visitors in one place, and in a matter of days!

This might seem overwhelming but take the following into consideration and you will increase your success rate. If you’ve never been to a trade show before, I suggest visiting one prior to participating in one.

Establish Goals

Not only establish goals, but also establish meaningful and obtainable goals. Go into the trade show with a goal in mind, if not, you’ll be all over the place.

Marketing Initiatives

Use your marketing initiatives before, during and after the trade show to maximize your effectiveness.

Choose a Display Exhibit

You will be competing with your peers, so it’s important to have a booth that’ll attract potential buyers.

Employing Promotional Products and Giveaways

At every trade fair there is always one promotional product that stands out. A hit promotional product will attract more visitors primarily because they’ll all want one.

Staffing your Booth

Choose the liveliest and friendliest employees to staff your booth.

Train your booth staff prior to the event with a well practiced script. They’ll have 2 minutes at most to attract a customer, relay the information, and create a connection and move on to the next person. More importantly, they shouldn’t waste time on a visitor that will not buy during the follow-up. It’s important to note that during a tradeshow, the primary goal is to make connections and the sale comes after the trade show has ended. Closing deals during the trade show is a waste of time because you’ll be spending at least an hour or more with one person; so in a day you’ll have 8 clients instead of making 240 connections with a possibility of closing 84 deals (35%) if not more.

The practiced script should contain a 1 minute introductory pitch. Then ask the visitor if he or she has any questions; their answer should give you an indication on whether or not they’re really interested. Use a following 30 seconds to give them details on products or services, and get their information for an effective follow-up.

Let your Staff know about Trade Show Etiquette and what’s expected of them. Let them know how to dress, when their time of arrival is, how long they’ll stay in the booth and more importantly to respect trade show etiquette: no eating, drinking or sitting down while they’re manning the booth. Also, make it explicit that they should behave in a polite and professional manner.

Don’t overstaff your booth. You might think that the more people you have in a booth the better, because you’ll be able to contact more visitors. However, if a visitor sees an overcrowded booth, they’ll avoid it. This is also an indication that you should keep the flow of prospects moving as well, without being discourteous.

You might also be interested in:

Trade Show Displays

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