According to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research, the majority of trade show attendees are decision makers or influencers that plan to make a purchase within the next 12 months.
Exhibiting at a trade show offers one of the best ways to get in front of a lot of customers and prospects in a relatively short amount of time. Trade shows allow the opportunity to not only show a product or describe a service, but also create that all important first impression.
According to a Simmons Market Research Bureau study, 91% of respondents ranked trade shows as "extremely useful" as a source for product purchasing information. This was higher than any other source, including on-site visits from reps. Also, nearly half of the respondents had purchased products or services at the trade show.
At a typical national trade show, with 10,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors, you can realistically have 200 visitors per day. If you were making sales calls, you could not even approach that number. Granted, you don't always have the opportunity to go into as much detail in your presentation as you would like, but it opens the door for future communications -- a door that sometimes is very difficult to get your foot into.
So for most companies, trade shows are worth the effort. In fact, before you decide to nix a show your company has attended for years, think about what that might say to your current customers who expect to see you there. This is especially damaging if your company has been through recent staffing/management changes, mergers, acquisitions, or other changes your clients may have caught wind of. Your competition will use your absence to their advantage.
Unless you have unlimited budgets and resources, once you have a list of potential shows to attend, you need to find out which of those shows are the best. The key to finding the best shows lies in finding the shows that pull in the most decision makers for your industry. For example, you may find that one of the very large shows in your industry brings in a lot of non-decision makers because their union specifies that members get to attend one national conference each year, and that's the show most of them choose. MyStyle Marketing is able to find out which show will have the most immediate results for which client. They are able to staff the event with suitable trained and professional representatives.
You also need to check with the show managers and ask how they are promoting the show and about their strategy for getting people to the exhibit hall. If it's a new show, there has to be very good promotion to get the traffic you need to make it worthwhile. Often, the conference schedules are set up so that luncheons and socials are held in the exhibit hall to ensure that attendees spend time with vendors. While it is nice to get them into the exhibits (and to your booth), food-related functions aren't always the best arenas for talking with prospects, mainly because it's hard to handle a plate of food, a drink, and your company's literature at the same time. Make sure the schedule allows for plenty of time around those events so attendees can eat and visit your booth. If it doesn't, let the show management know so they can plan better the following year.
How do you get your exhibit booth to communicate who you are, what you do, and what your product or service is -- all in three seconds? Sounds impossible, but it isn't.
To make your booth graphics have impact and work for you rather than against you, remember:
Focus on your products or service's "benefits" rather than "services." Use text very sparingly. You want your booth to look more like a billboard than a brochure. Make sure there is a single focal point. Find the essence of your business and make sure everything revolves around that central idea. Make sure your name and your positioning statement are very prominent in the design. Remember, if you're a new company, you have to create an impression, and if you're an existing company you have to maintain and build on that impression. The trends these days in booth graphics are large visual backdrops with only the most concise, key text statements to communicate a message or theme. For example, a company that manufactures scissors or chain saws could use a single, larger-than-
Now, if your company is a service-oriented company, you may have more difficulty posting a single image, but think hard about it. You can usually come up with an image or simple montage that can communicate the essence of your business.
What to expect from MyStyle Marketing Exhibitors
When attendees show interest in your booth, MyStyle representatives will approach them immediately and invite them to learn more about your products or services. They will not leave people waiting - trade show attention spans are short, and people will leave your booth if they can't get help in 60 seconds or less.
The way they will greet a visitor to your booth shows your professionalism and willingness to help. They will avoid innocuous greetings like "Can I help you", "Hi, how are you?", or "How's the show going?". Instead, they will ask a direct question that engages the visitor and helps you gauge their interest in your company's products or services - "What information can I tell you about our new heating system?" or "Hello, what are you looking for in your new car?".
Certain booth behavior looks sloppy and conveys that the representatives are not interested in your customers. They will not sit down. not eat, drink, or smoke at the booth. They will never leave your booth unattended. And they wont spend time chatting with colleagues instead of focusing on customers. MyStyle Marketing ensures that the exhibitors chosen to market your product have the highest standards.
Qualify prospects quickly
The first thing they will do once you meet someone new is establish who they are (buyer, decision maker, supplier, competitor, etc.) and where they're located. This way they won't end up spending important time with a person who isn't responsible for buying your product/service, or who is located in a region your company doesn't serve.
The MyStyle Marketing Representatives at the trade show will engage a prospect by asking open-ended questions -- ones that require more than a yes/no answer. This will help them determine your customers needs and interests. Focus responses on how your product or service can meet these needs.
They will be sure to observe the 80/20 rule - listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time.
The MyStyle representatives avoid any kind of prepared sales pitch, which can begin to sound robotic after you've said it for the 50th time.
We have just experienced great success whilst at 'London Olympia Beauty Show' and 'The National Wedding Show London Earls Court'. We look forward to expanding our client portfolio and attending more trade shows in the future.
For Marketing that suits your style - Choose 'MyStyle'.