One of the best ways to have a direct contact with your valued customers and prospects is a trade show or trade fair. Now this picks up a question that what are trade shows? Well, an exhibition organized where companies of a specific industry or many a times coming from varied industry backgrounds can advertise and promote their new products and services is called a trade show. Thinking about taking part in a trade show itself gives rise to many problems. Say for example:

Which is the best trade show?

Now, the show you selected is it the best for your product or service and does it meet your particular needs? For this some analytical research is required. You should look in for the geographic area, market volume served by the show, type of business like conference, self drive etc and whether there is potential for growth etc. The research can be done by talking to the previous attendees of the show, overseas trade partners, checking out the description of the show in detail, comparing the attendance cost against that of marketing activities etc.

Selecting the show is the most important question. Your industry’s association is the ideal place to start with. You can even inquire with trade publications and another important resource is of course the Web. Make sure you go through more than one directory, as no list is entirely complete.

How do you ensure that you will get back the maximum of your input?

Making the most of the show is the most important issue to look after. Trade shows are crowded, hectic and often overwhelming. A large part of the success comes from knowing what to do to entice prospects while in a crowded, often frenetic trade fair atmosphere to meet the key people. Below are some checklists: –

The perfect sales pitch: when you’ve the perfect sales pitch, appealing to potential clients is always easier. Your sales pitch should be short, crisp, to the point and yet at the same time impressive.

Managing the show schedule and materials: paperwork is the most tedious part of any job, so be prepared if you’re involved in managing the company’s trade shows! Fill out the exhibitor application form completely and carefully.

Record visitor contact data: make sure that you keep a record of the visitor’s key contact information and their individual interest – whether they were interested in one of your products or services your company offers. A well prepared spreadsheet or simple lined paper to record what the visitor was interested in can be of real help for proper following up with the real targets.

Lead tracking: 80% of your leads are never followed up! So setting up a system that ensures adequate follow-up is one more thing for you to look after. You can assign one person the responsibility of managing your company lead. This way you wont have your leads falling into cracks.

Post show strategies: A great booth doesn’t mean only good traffic at your booth! About 90% of the literature, which is picked up in a show, is irrelevant. So a well organized follow up is required so that you can translate the leads generated into sales for your company. This will help you optimize your investment in the trade show.

o First sort out the information, which needs to be followed up.

o Then send lead response letters.

o Make sure they are sent in a timely manner.

o You can distribute the leads among sales reps so as to avoid confusion and ensure quality follow up.

o Make sure that your sales reps are actually calling up the contacts given to them.

What kind of display is needed?

Advertisement: to hit the correct audience, proper advertisement and presentation is required. Invite your clients, customers, suppliers, and other contacts to attend the show. Make sure you put it in your website, if you have one. Now the next step is to look after your booth, its location and outlook. You need to take care of the design of your booth. How to decorate it to make it attractive and impressive so that you can communicate who you are, what you do, and what your product or service is — all in three seconds! Let your booth be simple, clean and clear.

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