Define success. A trade show is like any marketing effort. It requires a clear set of achievable, measurable goals. Be specific. How many potential clients do you want to meet? How many potential referral sources? Put a dollar amount on the amount of business you’d ultimately like to close as a result of your participation in the show. Make a plan. What can you do to achieve your goals? Develop a unique message that differentiates you from the competition. Make sure it’s a high-impact statement of your purpose that makes people stand up and take notice. Give them something to talk about. Create a pre- and post- show strategy to stir up interest. Use direct mail, personal invitations and social media to invite prospects to your booth. Don’t just mail a postcard! Be memorable and give them a reason visit. Maybe a free gift? Or a donation in their name to a favorite charity? After the show, develop a follow up campaign, not just a one- time communication. Now’s the time to court the prospective buyers and keep your company top of mind. Create the WOW factor. A typical 10′ X10’ booth doesn’t have to be boring. Think 3-dimensional. Translate your message into a visually exciting display people can’t help but noticing. Give your theme and message depth by coordinating collateral materials, giveaways and even uniforms. Remember, people make the experience. Even the most exciting plan won’t work if your staff isn’t up to speed. Have enough staff to adequately greet and speak with booth visitors. Train them well in addressing each type of visitor from prospect to vendor. Each person who visits is a potential ambassador for your company and should leave with a great impression. Give staff breaks if necessary to return phone calls or emails and prohibit use of cell phones at the booth. Evaluate and assess. Once the show is over, sit down with your staff and review your goals. Did you meet them? What could you have done better, differently? Make notes of these comments and ideas for the next show. Avoid static and boring. Be creative and invent the kind of environment you’d find interesting. If you plan for success you’ll definitely enjoy the benefits.
-Guest Blogger Angel Cicerone, President of Tenant MentorshipTenant Mentorship is a unique new platform designed to give retail property owners turnkey programs to help retail tenants prosper.]]>
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