15 Low Cost Ways to Improve Your Next Trade Show

    by Raymond Winters on Aug 29, 2016 2:38:48 PM

    There are lots of ways to improve your team's performance at trade shows from new high-end displays to rewards and incentives for top representatives. But many of these improvement methods come with hefty price tags. No Worries! There are a lot of different ways to improve trade show performance without breaking the bank. We have put together 15 low or no-cost ways to improve your next trade show.



    1.  Research the trade show before you commit: Does it attract a large number of people from your target audience? If it doesn’t, then you might want to reconsider your attendance.

    2. Planning, Planning, Planning…. Did we mention planning? 12 months in not an unreasonable amount of time for preparing for a trade show. Waiting till the last minute is going to cost you in rush orders, stress and angry employees!

    3. Set up a pre-show email campaign to let loyal customers you will be attending and ask them to tell other people that might find your services useful. Direct testimonials are a powerful way to increase your traffic and conversions!

    4. Involve management in the planning process. You'll get better results from your team if they know upper management is supporting their efforts, not to mention the number of headaches you prevent when the boss wants last minute changes!

    5. Define your goals, establish a plan to meet those goals and, most importantly, set up quantifiable ways to track your success or failure. This might seem trivial, but it has been our experience that there are a lot of opportunities to “learn from mistakes” and have a fast and easy way to visualize the data is a powerful asset to ensure future success!

    6. Send enough people to ensure adequate trade show booth coverage throughout the show. On more than one ocassion I have wondered through a booth or display and found no one in attendance. This seems to happen most often around lunch time, so plan accordingly and never leave your booth unattended.

    7. Here is one we see people miss all the time... DEFINE YOUR ROLES! Product specialists, salesmen and ambassadors all have different roles to play and they should not cross each other. Know the part each attendee will play and stick to it!

    8. Know your lead generation technology. We have discussed this in depth in the offer below, so make sure to sign up for your copy!

    9. Do you have a product specialist in the booth? If not get one. You are going to need someone present that can answer the technical questions. One cool way we worked around sending an engineer to the trade show was to set up an "Ask the Engineer" display, which was a live two-way video connection (in this case Skype) so that interested customers could ask a product engineer questions. It sure was lot cheaper to set up than the cost of sending a staff engineer out as a booth attendant!

    10. Choose your brand ambassadors carefully! Nothing will torpedo a successful trade show faster than gloomy, boring people attending your booth. You want to send people that really believe in your products and company mission. In other words you want real evangelists out there interfacing with potential customers, not a bunch of sticks-in-the-mud. Remember, one bad experience loses more customers than 100 great experiences gain!

    11. Look Good! Seems simple enough, but unless you put a plan in place, a dress code if you will, than you can count on a sloppy, poorly represented booth. Look professional and you will be perceived as being professional!

    12. deodorant and breath mints. Enough said.

    13. You know that exhibitor's service manual that most of us throw away? READ IT and make sure the rest of the staff reads it too... Seriously, you can save yourself a ton of headaches by knowing the convention schedule and know who to talk with when there is a problem.

    14. Set up a protocol for following up with leads. While this may sound like a "no-brainer", you would be amazed at how many potential leads slip through the cracks AFTER the events. You can have the best data capture in the world, but if there is no plan for follow up, you might as well not even attend the event. Knowing the plan makes for a very easy turn over to sales and will certainly result in higher conversions, making you a hero with management!

    15. Say "Thank You"! From booth visitors to janitors and floor workers, just say thank you. Say it a lot because you are going to see a lot of these people next year and making a friend never hurts.

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