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Trade Show Marketing

I have a colleague who asked me to help him out with a Trade Show. This will be his first time as an exhibitor. I've only attended a few trade shows myself so I'm currently not much help. Hence my post. :)

Does anyone have any recommendations for trade show articles, resources, etc. that I can get my hands on? - by AZBroker
No articles that I know, but if you have the neatest widget then everyone will line up at your booth. - by KeysToFlorida
AZ,

I see you're not getting a whole lot of response here. I don't know of any good articles, tho I'm sure an Internet search would turn up some. But, here are some ideas.

You have 6 seconds to capture someone's attention at a trade show. Make sure your graphics are large enough to read from a distance, and that your headline will attract attention. Letter size rule: 1" for every 10 feet of distance. So, headlines should be maybe 1.5" tall?? and lettering at least 1"? Don't put a lot of info on the graphics - people won't read it. Just grab their attention, then follow up with discussion, brochures, etc.

The most popular booths at trade shows have food. ;) Cookies, individually wrapped candy, etc. will get people to stop.

Put a fishbowl or basket on your table and a stand-up sign offering a drawing for something free. Your product or service if it works is best, or a restaurant gift certificate, etc. Have people put their cards in the bowl for the drawing. Should produce some good leads, and some that just wanted a free dinner. If there is no formal time for drawings to be held, you can do it after the show. Who knows, maybe the person who is your best potential client will win the drawing. :cool:

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. Few shows have a carpeted floor, and it's murder standing up all day on concrete.

Don't plant yourself behind the table. Walk around and engage the visitors.

Most people walk down show aisles looking at their shoes - they don't want to catch someone's eye because they'll have to talk to them. I found it helpful to come up with a leading question and then ask people the question as they came by. Not attack them, just a friendly contact. Some will just scurry away, but some will be intrigued and stop to talk.

If you have something that could be used as a test or evaluation, that's a great idea. It gets people involved with you. For example, if you're selling copiers you could have a questionnaire that you'd score at the booth to determine if the visitor is using the right copier for the amount of volume, if there's a way to get a cheaper cost per copy, or whatever.

Smile. Even if you try to engage someone and they run. You're there to do a job and if you look open and friendly, people will want to stop.

Make time to visit the other booths and talk to the vendors. They may be potential clients, you may find out what the competition is doing, or make strategic contacts. Analyze the booths that get a lot of traffic. Figure out why so you can do the same the next time.

Hope this helps. Surely some other folks on this forum have trade show tips...

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Wow, excellent advice Kathleen, you must have worked your share of trade shows. One of the things you mentioned was the carpet. If you have a choice pay the extra to get carpet in your booth, it makes a world of difference. It is so much easier to keep a good attitude and a smile on your face when your feet legs and back aren't killing you! - by Doc MC
Thanks Kathleen, that is some great information.

We will need to work on a "leading quesion" as you mentioned. My colleague has started a new Franchise, he's the franchisor, in the Manufactured Housing industry. Unfortunately, I know very little about franchises. :eek: - by AZBroker
AZ,

Your question will depend on who the audience is, of course, but if it's a home show where the audience is consumers, I would probably try something like, "Did you know that manufactured homes cost 10 to 35 percent less than a comparable site-built home?"

But, I'd have others, too, so if one question doesn't interest people, you have others to try. Sometimes I think people are just shy about approaching you. If you start out asking a question, sometimes it's a lot easier for them to stop because they don't have to worry about what to say - they can just answer your question.

Good luck!

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
Sometimes I think people are just shy about approaching you.
That's where my new six foot retractable hook comes into play. :p - by AZBroker
That's where my new six foot retractable hook comes into play. :p
Just don't flash it around -- all the exhibitors will want one!! :eek: - by KSA-Mktg
Just don't flash it around -- all the exhibitors will want one!! :eek:
:p :D :p .......... - by AZBroker
at tradeshows i always try to remember the 'three 12's' rule. be on alert for buying signals and work off the back of them. good luck - by salesman
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