Sunday, July 27, 2014

Advice for Trade Show Exhibitors - or 15 things I learned from my first trade show

After two days exhibiting at my first trades how, these are some things that I learned.

  1. Be friendly to everyone. Smile as people approach. It is a great icebreaker.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes
  3. Having an iPad on a stand that records prospects details works well. 
  4. I used an app called Leadsie that recorded the prospects details in a form that can be saved as an excel file
  5. Bring your own lunch (the tradeshow food cam be terrible, expensive and stale)
  6. pop up displays stands look fantastic. They are professional, quick to set up and quite cheap
  7. A shell scheme for the stand is a great idea. They are full length panels that attach to the wall with double sided adhesive velcro
  8. Trade shows are a numbers game. You need to talk to lots of people to find the ones that suit the business
  9. You don't need a big stand. I had tradeshow neighbours that were very successful exhibiting in small stands next to me. The right person will find you regardless of the stand size.
  10. All of the experienced tradeshow exhibitors have told me that the most important thing is to follow up all the interested prospects straight away.
  11. You don't need chairs as there is no opportunity to sit down. The experienced exhibitors know this and they have bar tables only.
  12. I had a gimmick on day one that was fun but did not attract the people that I was hoping to find. The main takers for the game were kids and teenagers that were bored as their parents talked to other exhibitors
  13. I did not use the gimmick on day two without any loss of interest in the stand but I did have chocolates for people that visited (on day one I had the chocolates as a prize)
  14. It is great to network with your stand neighbours. You become a little community and get each other coffees, watch each other's stand so you can take a break and there are plenty of opportunities to share success stories.
  15. You can't judge a book by its cover. You have to believe that every single person could be the right one or know the right one.