Wonder how Millwood does it, year after year? Here are the golden rules of the trade show business:
- Plan Ahead
To have a successful trade show, you must plan. Six to eight months before the show is a good time to start.
- Location is Key
If you’re going to the show, spend the money for the best seat. Typically location is dependent on the number of years you’ve attended that show, so pick your shows and stay consistent. Each year your position will improve, and you will see the results with traffic.
- Train Your Booth Workers
Set up your booth at your office or manufacturing facility if possible. This will help booth workers understand all the products and resources available during the show. It will also help with setup and tear-down.
- Use The Show As A Deadline For Other Tasks
This may mean launching a new product or service, developing new literature or just clarifying your messaging. Having the show as a deadline drives a lot of projects that you may otherwise put off. Be aware of taking on too much; you can always scale back as needed.
- Set Objectives For The Show
Know why you are there. Make sure everyone understands and is prepared to meet those objectives while at the show.
- Invite Customers
Continually communicate with customers and invite them to register. Send emails, postcards, letters, social media, etc. Have your sales people invite customers as well.
- Stay Clean and Simple
Don’t overload your booth with too many graphics, and keep your space clean. This will help customers remember your message. What do you want them to remember after leaving your booth?
- Build A Schedule
One that defines booth workers’ time in the booth and also customers and suppliers’ meetings. Make sure everyone knows where they are to be at all times.
- Follow Up With Leads
After the show, email your leads immediately. You should also consider sending them literature via mail within days and then call.
- Learn From The Last Show
Soon after the show is over, have a debrief on what went well and what needs improving.