Friday, February 4, 2011

4 Tips for Successful Trade Show Exhibiting

I had coffee this morning with Colin Serle, owner of Black Cat Promotions.

Serle is an expert at marketing with advertising specialties, like key chains, ball point pens, apparel, and other items.

Over the past 40+ years, he's learned a thing or two about marketing and selling, particularly at trade shows.

If you never thought about marketing your service business by exhibiting at a trade show, think again.

For about the same amount of money as you'd spend on one display ad in the local newspaper, which might net 5 calls on a good day, you can meet dozens of prospects at a trade show and gauge their immediate reaction to your sales message.

Serle kindly shared these XX ideas to help you bring home the bacon -- and the sales leads -- the next time you exhibit at a trade show ...

1) Know the formula

"Write this down: the number of hours you'll be exhibiting at the trade show, multiplied by the number of people working your booth, multiplied by 30. That's the number of product samples or specialty items you can give away," says Serle, who devised this formula after years of experience.

So, plan accordingly when planning how many tchotchkes to pack for your next trade show.

2) Market before the show

Contact the trade show organizers and ask if you can mail an introductory letter to the registered attendees. You may be able to get this mailing list at no charge, but you will likely have to pay. Pony up the money if you have to, and send a letter. "Ask people to stop by your booth for a free item and tell them you're eager to meet. If you don't send a pre-show letter, you're relying on luck," says Serle.

3) Attract attention by demanding attention

If you're no good at drawing attention to yourself -- like me! -- Serle suggests letting your giveaway item do the work for you.

"I remember one trade show when one vendor had rubber balls that lit up inside when he bounced them. He had such a crowd around his booth that he gave away all his samples halfway through the first day," says Serle. "He had to call the supplier and ask for an emergency re-order," which is a nice problem to have.

So, consider working something lively and eye-catching into your trade show display.

4) Attract leads by giving away value

As a final bit of advice, Serle suggests you save pricier gift items or product samples ($5-$10+) for qualified prospects you talk to at your booth. "If you reach under the counter and hand prospects a nice item as a thank-you, that's powerful," he says.

Just be sure to get full contact information from every prospect you meet, so you can follow up with them after the show.

(More ideas like these in the Free Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Service Business Owners.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing great tips's helped
    me a lot!