Exhibitor 101: How to be an exemplary exhibitor at your next tradeshow

FB Pic

 

Many business owners, like myself are always trying to find ways to promote our businesses.  One of the best ways to get face time with potential clients is through the tradeshow circuit.  We try to maintain our business presence in the community by attending tradeshows as an exhibitor.  We also host a minimum of 5 tradeshows each year and we find that there are a few guidelines that our exhibitors are usually unaware of.  Below are some tips that we have put together to help with determining what shows are right for you and how to get the best of your exhibitor experience.

  • Before being an exhibitor, let us back it up a bit.
    • How do you source events?
    • How do you plan for your events? How many per year?
    • Budget
      • Event booth cost
      • Promotional product cost
      • Literature cost
    • You have booked your exhibitor space, now let’s prepare.
      • Ask about choosing your booth location
      • Swag bag opportunities (inserts and swag bag sponsors)
      • Advertising exchange (if you have a large mailing list, offer to be an advertising sponsor). Ask about sending a certain number of emails, tweets, Facebook posts, Google + in exchange for mentions at the event, logo placement in handouts, etc
      • Promote the event!! If each exhibitor brings 10-20 guests from their network to the tradeshow, imagine how many more potential clients will be in the room to help grow your business.
      • Ask the organizer if there are ways to make your exhibitor fee back? (affiliate ticket sales, affiliate exhibitor sales, etc)
      • Preparing your table/booth layout
        • Preplan what items you will display
        • Ensure that you have literature about your product or service pre-printed
        • Ensure that you have the appropriate display for your product.
          • If you are a jeweler, how do you effectively display your item
          • If you are a clothing company bring a model or offer to have certain pieces worn by other exhibitors
          • If you are an author how will you display your books
        • Decide if you will do draws/raffles at your table, how frequent and at what cost?
        • Will you offer an event only discount?
        • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Dress appropriately for the event and remember that you are your brand.
      • It is the day of the event
        • Be on time: You want to not only make an impression on the planner, but also on the other exhibitors
        • Spend your first moments setting up – not socializing with other exhibitors. Ensure that your space is set up exactly how you envisioned.  Stand back and look at it from every angle to make sure that it is visually appealing, but also that it meets your marketing expectation.
        • With your remaining time, mingle with other exhibitors, exchange business cards, discuss event partnerships (ex, cupcakes with teacups at an event) – clothing company partnering with a jewelry company to wear their clothing
        • Ensure that you have eaten prior to event startup. Try to have small snacks and beverages with you (in a bag under the table). Do not clutter your table with food and beverages.
        • Once the doors are open, smile and be ready to be somewhat aggressive. Work the room.  You don’t always have to be behind your table, just stay in your space and do not impede traffic to your other exhibitors.
      • The event is over. Next steps
        • Event feedback.
          • If the organizer has a feedback form/email, take part. If not, relay your experience to the organizer. Be truthful and constructive
          • Follow up with your contacts
          • Asses if you would take part in the event in the future and let the organizer know. Right of first refusal!!
          • Connect with other exhibitors to find out about events they normally attend.

You have your tips and now it is time to execute.  Enjoy your experience.  Ask us about our upcoming shows or find out more on our website.

Dwania is the Founder and Executive Director of Canadian Small Business Women Contact Canadian Small Business Women:

FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsite

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: