Now that COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted, the trade shows and exhibitions are starting to be scheduled again and they are a great way to get reconnected and regenerate sales leads, but you have to be prepare
Expos have their own sales processes and when you know them, you can make qualified leads and close sales faster than your competitors.
The Business and Jobs Expos scheduled this year include a How To Sell From an Expo Stand workshop which runs 4 weeks prior to every expo to ensure our exhibitors and their team are ready with the right sales scripts, marketing material, intentions and the best stand set up that doesn’t cost the earth.
Before the Expo
- Figure out WHY you are exhibiting and create a budget around that. Be clear on who your customers are, not everyone who walks by will be your ideal customer
- Order any marketing materials you may need. Ask the trade show organiser what is available and included e.g. tables, power points, size of stand etc – there are always sponsor special prices that can help you stretch your marketing $$.
- Pull Up banners are simple to create
- Slideshow presentations, short video clips, and demonstrations packed with visual aids can go a long way to engaging potential customers.
- Promotional items for goodie bags. Everybody likes free stuff – Before your show, reach out to a business that makes customised gifts—t-shirts, calendars, mugs, wristbands, bags—and brand them with your company’s logo, motto, and colour scheme.
- Business cards/flyers and price-lists
- Products and Services Checklists are really great to use
- Stationery holders to keep your marketing material looking neat, tidy and presentable.
- A box of emergency supplies e.g. staplers, blu tac, scissors, Stanley knife, tissues etc.
- Tech box e.g. extension cords, phone chargers, light strips etc.
- Refreshments for you and your team e.g. lollies, power bars, bottled water
- Tell people about it. Advertise, post content on social media, email your database. Our Expos are collaborative events where we ask all of our exhibitors to promote the event, after all, we all know other small business owners will benefit by being involved
- Study who will be at the trade show. Which competitors will be there and also any prospective or current clients. Trade shows are not only about exhibiting but also networking, make a list of other exhibitors you’d like to speak with before you attend the show. At our Pre Expo workshops we teach you exactly how to master the walk around and walk by traffic of people, time is money and you cannot waste time.
- If you are hiring staff to work in your stand, make sure they know your objectives and are comfortable spruiking your product/service. The more comfortable and confident they are, the more leads you will gain. At the Small Business Expos we train ALL staff who are helping on your stand, it is included in your expo fee.
During the show
- Think about what you will be doing to grab the passing exhibitor’s attention. Demonstrations are a great way to as people like to be entertained, also goodie bags are always a hit. If using goodie bags make sure their items are reusable and branded. We have a saying, “You can do whatever you want, as long as you aren’t naked or it pisses off anyone else”. We encourage you to think outside the box so you can STOP TRAFFIC at your stand for five minutes per person.
- If you have promising conversations with attendees, make sure you retain their business card or write their contact details down with notes about the conversation. You will need these later – a checklist is a great idea that you can attach to the business card.
- Network: Grab the exhibitor list and seek out the exhibitors you have targeted. Make sure you grab their business card or flyer so you have their contact details for post-show follow up – better still – take your diary and lock in your appointments, that way you speed up the follow-up process saving valuable time.
- Figure out the best position for the next event. Ask the trade show’s organiser the final figures (how many visitors according to the several entrances). If a show is worthwhile, you can plan which area of the venue you want to participate next time.
The most important work is done – after the event
- Follow up! You should have collected a lot of business cards from attendees and fellow exhibitors. As soon as possible, create a database and you can email or snail mail a personalised thank you to them. Strike while the iron is hot and while you and your brand are still top of mind.
- Evaluate your ROI for this show and make decisions whether you will attend another.
Thank you to our sponsor for putting this information together: