Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Top 11 SMB Trade Show Do's and 10 Don'ts

Trade Show Booth

Trade Shows are a great way to market your product. Trade shows help increase company visibility by putting your audience in a place that you can directly connect with them. You also are able to direct contact your manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and value-added resellers.

A trade show though can be expensive with costs including plane tickets, shipping your supplies, equipment costs, and booth cost. With costs being so high return of investment is crucial. If done right a trade show can be the perfect opportunity to catch the attention of a wide audience of customers and can prove to be less expensive at reaching your customers than other alternatives like billboards, television, and newspaper advertising.

To help you here is a check list of 11 do’s and 10 don’ts:

Do List
  1. Pick a good spot for your booth around the front or center to get better traffic.
  2. Invite clients to stop by your booth via blogs, email, postcards etc…
  3. Be alert and inviting. Stand near the front of your booth and be friendly.
  4. Survey your prospect. Ask what do they want and or need.
  5. Be able to state what your unique selling proposition is within 10-20 seconds. Focus on what your product or service can do for the prospect.
  6. Booth Layout is Key! You have about five seconds to capture the trade show attendee's attention before they are gone. Have a featured discussion display or plasma flat screen with a presentation in an easily accessible area where several people can hear and see what you are presenting.
  7. Lead Follow-up: Work out a system for capturing, qualifying and following up on leads.
  8. Properly Staff your Booth. Have sufficient staffing to allow for rest and eating breaks.
  9. Make a Lasting Impression: Make prospects glad that they stopped by and met you and your company.
  10. Dress appropriately for your company and the target of the show.
  11. Get Trade Show Internet for $299
Don't List
  1. Don't sit at your booth when prospects are present. Stand, be ready to engage all potential customers.
  2. Don't eat, read or otherwise be distracted at your booth.
  3. Don’t engage in conversation with your fellow workers when attendees are present.
  4. Stand in a friendly manner that is welcoming to attendees.
  5. Do not use the phrase "Can I help you?" -- The nearly automatic response to this question is "No thanks, just looking."
  6. Do not hand out brochures to everyone. Until you have qualified the lead and they have expressed an interest, keep the marketing material in your own hands. Handing out brochures at initial contact may inhibit a deeper conversation.
  7. Do not fail to assess the client's needs before providing a solution.
  8. Do not fail to be impeccably dressed and groomed. You only have one chance to make a first impression.
  9. Do not leave the booth unattended and do not take your stand down before the exhibit ends.
  10. Do not fail to follow up on requests for information. It is imperative that you do what you commit to in the booth.

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