The major advantage of trade shows for business-to-business (B2B) companies is that they increase the chances of meeting with prospects face to face. They also increase the chances of meeting the people in your customers’ organizations that you might not ordinarily get to meet, but who nevertheless are important in your ongoing business relationships with those customers.
Although trade shows can be more expensive than other forms of marketing, they can also be a more efficient means of getting those key meetings with prospects and customers.
Here are some key considerations.
Of course, using a trade show as an efficient way to meet customers and prospects only works if the trade show attracts the right people in your target market. A representative from the trade show production company should be able to help you with that.
Request our free trade show tip sheet to find out more.
If you’re satisfied that a trade show will attract the people you want to meet with, the next most important consideration is the location of your booth.
The best booth space locations in a trade show are in the front row facing the show entrance, at the end of an aisle in the front half of the exhibit floor, or in a centre interior row, again in the front half of exhibit floor.
Booth size shouldn’t be an issue for most small- to medium-sized B2B companies.
Major exhibitors are expected have large booths, but for almost everyone else, a bigger booth doesn’t normally mean bigger sales or contact numbers. The location of your booth is generally much more important than the size, so about the only thing doubling your booth size will do is double your costs.
Your main objective at a trade show is to attract as many qualified prospects as possible to your company’s booth. The key word is qualified. As with all other forms of marketing, quality is a much more important consideration than quantity.
People often employ various gimmicks in an effort to draw a large number of visitors to their booth, and if the gimmicks are good they might be successful. But at the end of the trade show all they’ve got is a bowl full of business cards from people who just wanted the freebie and will never buy the exhibitor’s products or services.
The first thing most show visitors usually notice is your booth backdrop. Simplicity and clarity are the keys to catching a visitor’s interest. A simple layout with your company name and a very brief unique selling proposition (USP) that describes a key benefit your products or services deliver will ensure your booth is noticed. Make sure your company name and USP are both large enough that they can be easily read from 10 metres away.
Most prospects won’t immediately walk up to your booth and start talking to you. They walk beside your booth first, so it’s important that you place small signs or banner stands at the front of your booth, containing bulleted sales benefit information. The copy is critical because it needs to interest prospects sufficiently so that they then shift their attention to your presentation.
The presentation is a very interesting video or visual demo running on its own that highlights a key aspect of what you provide – preferably something directly related to the USP on your backdrop. Your sales person can approach the prospect while they’re watching the presentation and ask questions related to the benefits you’re offering. This is a much more effective approach than trying to flag people down as they’re walking past your booth.
Learn more with the free tip sheet.