Joining a trade show or exhibition can bring on a lot of stress if you’re not quite sure what is expected of you. What’s more, participating in such events can be costly, both in terms of financial expenses and in terms of time and effort. Whilst there’s no doubt that joining such commercial occasions is a great idea for any business (no matter how small or how large), you need to do it the right way in order to maximise the potential returns – after all, you have a good reason to participate; you have goals. Ever wonder how you can make the most out of such opportunities? Here is how to completely maximise your efforts when joining an exhibition.
Know the exhibition
Joining an exhibition is always a great idea – if, and only if, the exhibition will draw the right crowds. You’ll be spending money, so joining an exhibition that promotes the welfare of the elderly is not going to get you many contacts if you’re looking to promote your software business. Know the exhibition, and the crowd it is expected to draw. Talk to the organisers and set your budget accordingly.
Think relationships, not sales
It’s not about sales, per se – that comes later. It’s about meeting key people with whom you share a common interest, and with whom you can form productive and profitable relationships down the road. The concept is simple: as an artist, you may not be able to sell any paintings, but you may be able to discover where you can get your paint on better terms. As a wedding organiser, you may not be able to meet an engaged couple, but you may be able to find a great catering service. It’s all about connections. It’s about relationships, not immediate sales.
Focus on a single message
Know what you stand for and be bold about it – have one singular and simple message. Have confidence in a single line. This is especially true for what you put in your exhibition display banners, which are a must at any trade show or exhibition. Whilst we’re on the subject, make sure your banners and other promotional materials are well-done and professional.
Leads and follow-ups
It’s your opportunity to gather email addresses, calling cards, and other forms of leads. Be smart about it. Keep records. Gather information. They’re potential future sales. Follow them up. Create a network. Luck often hides at an unexpected place.
Joining exhibitions is not just about getting more clients right there and then. In fact, the rewards usually come much later, after some post-work has been accomplished. Be visible, see how others make themselves visible and how you can improve yourself. Create brand awareness and be open to questions. Make the most of it – and above all, have fun!
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