Despite the rise of online, in person events remain important. Face to face time with customers and prospects is invaluable, but the cost of attending for the small business, steep. Maximise the return on your tradeshow investment with our must do checklist:
Before you book
Tradeshow booth square footage is expensive. Before you buy:
- Take a look at what the organiser is offering – you can get some great booth and promotional packages
- Find out if there is financial support for SME’s to exhibit. Make sure you apply for this before booking
- Consider exhibiting in the UKTI or a relevant trade association pavilion. Costs tend to be lower as they’re subletting space, and you can benefit from their promotional activity
- Have a partner with complimentary products or services who is planning to exhibit? Share space to reduce costs and increase your offering
Consider whether you have enough time to prepare for and promote your attendance at the event. If the answer is no, show walk it this time.
Do more before
Have a detailed event plan, a Project Manager and start marketing at least 6-8 weeks in advance.
Increase potential footfall – tell everyone you’re exhibiting. Promote your attendance via your website, social media accounts, at least two direct emails to customers and prospects, your email footer and a press release.
Have your sales team follow-up activity to secure appointments and take a full diary to the event.
Give visitors a reason to stop at your booth. Let them get hands on with products (and where possible) services – people will queue up to look at your kit. Use virtual reality or 3D animation to grab people’s attention. Publish a timetable of live demonstrations or presentations – promote this in advance!
In person events offer a great opportunity to network – host a drinks reception.
Continue promoting your attendance through social media. Publish photos of set-up and post daily updates.
And don’t forget to record leads as you identify them!
You’ll be one of dozens of companies following up, so be quick and professional about it.
Email everyone you met with within 24 hrs of the show close. Thank and remind them how you can help them. There are some great apps that let you record leads and send a follow-up email within minutes of visitors leaving your stand!
Allocate leads out to your sales team and have them follow-up within 2 working days. Have a review meeting a week later to check all leads have been contacted, assess quality and discuss what went well and what you need to improve before the next event.
Had a great show? Write a post-show round-up, add it to your website and use social media to drive traffic to it.
Need help with your next tradeshow? Ask us how we can help increase your ROI >