The Ranch House Designs team has been on the road for several trade shows this fall – the Beef Cattle Short Course, National Angus Convention and the Iowa Cattle Industry Convention. Trade shows can be a great way to make face to face connections with potential clients, but they can sometimes come with a hefty price tag. You want to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck when you book your booth space, so here are some tips that we have learned along the way to help make your trade show booth a success!
1. Draw People In, With A Great Display
If you have ever been to a trade show, I am sure you can think of some of your favorite booths you have seen. Chances are, those favorite booths had a display with high impact graphics, and clear, concise text. Displays can be expensive, so shop around. Since you are going to be investing in this display, you may also want to consider working with a graphic designs company, like Ranch House Designs (shameless plug). A professional design firm will work with you so the display sends the right message to potential customers, and will help ensure that this display is one you can use for years to come.
2. Show… Don’t Tell
Add to your trade show display by having samples of your product or services available for people to look at and touch. If you have a physical product, real life samples and demonstrations are a sure fire way to convert potential customers to customers. If you have an intangible product or service, like us, having a video reel or slideshow running can be a great way to showcase your work. This will allow passersby to learn about what your company has to offer, without them having to stop and ask you questions. The slideshow or video reel can also be a great reference during sales pitches.
For the National Angus Convention, we had a slideshow that we developed using Prezi, running continuously on our large Mac monitor. The presentation had screenshots of our website designs, samples of our video work and our print and logo designs.
3. Invest In Informative Giveaways
How many times have you gone to a convention, picked up tons of freebies, and then rarely or never used them? Any giveaway you have at your booth should have a long-term marketing value. Chapstick, pens and magnets are fun, but what do they tell people about your company? Try to focus on creating informative and compelling handouts such as postcards, flyers and brochures. This will also help you differentiate between the freeloaders and the serious customers.
4. Go For A Unified Look
Professional and cohesive attire is a must for everyone working your booth. There are many variations you can use to create a unified look. Many companies choose clothing with their embroidered or printed logo for trade shows, but you can achieve this look by having everyone wear the same shirt, or even having everyone wear the same color. You may think this is silly, but it makes your booth and your employees look consistent and legitimate. Also, make sure everyone has and wears a name tag!
5. Network With Other Exhibitors
There are bound to be lulls during any trade show. Combat the boredom by walking around and meeting other exhibitors. This can lead to potential business partnerships and even unexpected friendships!