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      How to Choose the Right Trade Show for Your Business

      Picking the right trade show for your business can be daunting. There are many different types of trade shows, but two basic groups stand out the most:

       

      • Consumer Shows: If you are looking to directly reach out to the public, or if you are trying to conduct market research, then this is the right trade show for your business. Travel to consumer shows only if you are less concerned about making insider contacts.
      • Trade Only Shows: Instead of an all-consumer audience, these shows are where you’ll find investors, suppliers, and other company representatives. This is a great opportunity to share marketing tips with other insiders, find non-competitive connections, and learn about the right trade shows for your business.

       

      Once you have decided between consumer shows and trade only shows, ask yourself these three questions to further narrow down the search:

       

      • Does this show have a good history? Check reviews to see how many exhibitors would recommend the event in question.
      • What will the audience be like? For example, is this going to be a loud and chaotic event, or more laid-back?
      • How large is this show? Check the registry to see how many vendors there were in previous years.

      4 Strategies to Remember for Your Next Trade Show Press Release

      A trade show press release is one of the many ways to generate hype about your next appearance, but even if you have a great product, finding the right words to describe it can still be difficult. Here are 4 strategies that will ensure your trade show press release has the right effect.

       

      Headlines Matter

      The headline is the first thing people will notice about your trade show press release, so it really has to grab their attention. If your headline does not titillate the reader, they are not going to read any further. Try to include the name of the event into the headline so they will at the very least know where you will be.

       

      Concisely Introduce Information

      In addition to explaining the company’s history, any good trade show press release will be sure to include specific event information such as:

      • Booth number
      • Giveaways
      • Demonstrations
      • Contact information for onsite staff or spokespersons
        • Include your home, office, and even hotel information so that you can be reached at any time for further questions by the press.

      Include a Strong Call-to-Action

      When they are finished with the trade show press release, give the reader specific instructions on what to do next. This could be as simple as inviting them to visit your website, watch a demonstration, fill out a survey or contest, and anything else that will get them to further interact with your brand.

       

      Mention Social Media

      Don’t neglect to tell the readers about your strong online presence by linking to all of your social media accounts. On Twitter and Facebook, you can even use a hashtag with the name of the event to appeal to an even wider audience.

      How to Think of New Ideas for Your Next Trade Show

      At modern trade shows, companies are starting to wise up and diversify their products and services. In fact, it is not uncommon for an entrepreneur or a small business to hire trade show companies to think of multiple new ideas to present at exhibitions. Let’s look at where these creative agencies are drawing their creative from.

       

      Trade Show Companies Get Their Ideas from Niche Industries

      Trade show companies will often focus on a small target audience, thinking about what they want and need from a consumer’s perspective. Sometimes, targeting a very specific customer base can gain you a small – but loyal – following in return. Think of it this way: the less competitors, the greater chance of success. Also, if the competition rate is low enough, people will be willing to pay top dollar for your new idea.

       

      Trade Show Companies Get Their Ideas from the Competition

      Trade show companies will “borrow” ideas from the competition and slightly modify them just enough to be considered original. For example, if they can take an existing product and make it a different size (“pocket-sized” or “industrial”), or improve upon a working mechanism of an existing product, then they have technically created a new invention. Be careful not to violate patents when taking this approach.

       

      Trade Show Companies Get Their Ideas from Unsatisfied Customers

      Good or bad, people are always willing to give their perspective. Go to the complaint section of any company forum or check their social media website for negative feedback. Usually, these bad reviews can be a great source of inspiration for designing a completely new product that will revolutionize your chosen industry.

      Trade Show Planning: A Beginner’s Timeline

      A lot of people think that trade shows are easy, but if you have a great invention that other people need to know about, a lot of prep-work is involved before it can hit the booth. Trade show planning requires special attention to details and deadlines, and if this is your first exhibit, there are a lot of issues that can go wrong. We at SnapPanel want you to succeed at your first trade show, which is why we have made a timeline specifically for trade show planning to make the process less daunting.

      4 Months from Trade Show

      • Set a budget – this is the single most important aspect of your presentation. It determines everything from your booth’s size to which trade shows you can afford to attend.
      • Design your exhibit – it is never too early to begin to generally think about your banners, displays, and overall layout.

      3 Months from Trade Show

      • Choose staff – contact your prospective staff and make sure they are available months in advance. If you run out of leads, ask your best staff members who they would recommend.
      • Interview designers – unless you are going to do your own designing, now is the time to contact professional exhibit designers.

      2 Months from Trade Show

      • Finalize staff – officially hire the booth staff, choose their uniforms, and finalize an exhibit designer.

      One Month from Trade Show

      • Preshow promotions – now is the time to send your first promotional material to prospective leads telling them of your exhibit.
      • Train your staff – your staff should have at least one month of training as to your company’s purpose, policies and goals.
      • Verification – contact organizers and let them know you are still on your way.

      With these trade show planning tips, you’ll know exactly when to take the next step.

      What is the Value of Trade Shows?

      As we have established in previous blog entries, trade shows used to be one of the few places for companies to find product information and generate leads – in fact, people willingly paid entrance fees just for the chance to do so. A lot has changed since then, but the value of trade shows still remains the same. Here are just a few reasons why trade shows are here to stay.

      Face-to-Face Satisfaction

      Having strong narrative skills and a firm handshake is still crucial to your brand’s image, even in this age of digital information. Your company can have a page for every social media outlet on the internet, but only an exhibition booth truly puts a face to your brand. There is nothing more appealing to the general public than an attentive exhibitor with all of the right answers.

      Live Demonstrations

      Live product demonstrations are one of the many values of trade shows that cannot be effectively replicated online. If your product is too good to be true, there will always be people online to voice their doubts and claim that the video demonstration is fake. At a trade show, however, there is no faking – it’s real, it’s live, and it’s undeniable!

      Valid Information

      Obtaining high quality information is still a major value of trade shows. While it’s true that trade shows are no longer the only place to get information, online information can come from anywhere (including the competitors). Product information at a trade show, however, is coming directly from the company itself and can be trusted.