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      4 Common Trade Show Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

      Whether it’s your first trade show or your fortieth, the goal is always to get your product out there and generate a return on your investment. With that said, even the most experienced presenter has made at least one of these common trade show mistakes in their career, and maybe they even still are. Take a look at this list to make sure you aren’t one of them!

      Jumbled Thoughts

      Whatever industry you are in, your presentation should be streamlined and concise. The average person will give your display only a few seconds of consideration at best, so you have to make the most of this time and get your point across quickly. As such, make sure your display clearly identifies your company’s name, your industry, and a problem you are solving.

      Irregular Upkeep

      Too many exhibits start out looking fresh, only to gradually become dirty and unkempt as the trade show continues. You and your staff should always keep your booth clean and fully stocked at all times. Be sure to wipe away any smudges on your exhibit and pick up any trash others have left behind – assign a maintenance schedule if you need to.

      Shunning the Competition

      We all know that the trade shows are highly competitive, but sometimes industry rivals can be your strongest contacts. You never know when a future partnership might emerge, or maybe they’ll even accidentally give away some valuable insider information. Either way, always rub elbows with your industry rivals and make your presence known.

      No Analysis Methods

      You should have a way to capture attendance metrics and calculate a budget. A good presenter always knows how much an expo costs, and how much revenue they’ll need to generate to justify these expenses. Otherwise, you are making one of the most common trade show mistakes possible!

      4 Pro Networking Strategies for Your Next Trade Show

      Trade shows are a great way to reach the public, gather contact information and generate future revenue. However, even if you have a one-of-a-kind product or service, you are only going to get as far as your backers are willing take you. With this in mind, here are some great networking strategies to land investors at your next trade show.

      Research the Guest List

      Screening your leads before an event is a great way to size up your audience and know what to expect. Sometimes a trade show will list their attendees beforehand, and this information is highly valuable for developing future networking strategies. The more you know about your audience, the more persuasive, charming and effective you will be when the moment comes to meet face to face.

      The Right Place at the Right Time

      Too many presenters hide behind a table at their trade show booth. You need to be able to engage people as they approach your exhibit, so be sure to stand (not sit) in front of the table. Maintain an inviting body posture as well: keep your hands out of your pockets, and your arms uncrossed.

      Get Them Talking About Themselves

      People love to talk about themselves, so indulge them. The more interest you show in a person, the more appealing you become to them as an associate. Be sure to interject brief bits of information about yourself and your product as you converse, but keep the focus of the conversation on them, and act upbeat without feigning interest.

      Hold a Contest

      A prize raffle is a laidback and relaxed way to obtain contact information for future leads. It is also a great way for attendees to associate you with a positive experience and remember you the next time you meet.

      5 Common Trade Show Myths Debunked

      Before the recession hit in 2008, trade shows included large booths, expensive floor space, lots of free food and tons of visitors. Almost a decade later, nothing much has changed except for the crowd. So, here are 5 common trade show myths debunked that can help you improve your trade show:

      1.     Bigger is Better

      Bigger is obviously better, but not when it comes to trade shows. It’s all about perception, because the reality is bigger booths looks empty and stale in comparison to small booths that are full. Instead, you will get a better payoff by applying big ideas to smaller spaces. If your rival is getting a bigger booth, don’t get in the race and get an even bigger booth. Take those extra dollars and enhance your smaller booth.

      2.     Booth Placement Matters

      So, your booth is tucked away in a corner and you find yourself wishing you could have bribed your way to the center aisle in the main hall. Obviously, these sweet spots are hard to come by and ultimately the position of your booth doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Consider other factors that actually work in your favor. For example, it’s a lot easier to set up and break down your booth when you are not in the center aisle. Those 30 minutes you save skipping the crowd, you can use to prepare and engage potential customers.

      3.     Let’s Place Big Orders

      If you think big brands will just stroll by your booth and place a large order, you are missing the concept of a trade show. Everyone at the show is just too busy and distracted to actually place any orders. Instead, you should focus on networking and building rapport with potential customers. Get proactive and set up meetings.

      4.     No Technology Needed

      There has been a drop in order writing at trade shows, mainly because people are too occupied and they think there just isn’t enough time to write down orders. This scenario is not preferable because you have retailers that want to buy, representatives that want to sell for commission and managers who have to meet quotas. Plus, you and your team just put in a lot of time and money for this booth. Your product team has diligently provided samples right on time and yet we are struggling to write down orders? Remedy this situation by investing in a mobile app. Draft orders with the app and email customers right away so they can review and finalize the order.

      5.     Widening Your Network

      While it’s important to build your network, it’s also essential you develop stronger relationships with those who are already in your network. This includes all people who have helped make your business successful and are continuing to do so, such as your internal team, reps and retailers. It could be anything, a fancy dinner or a trip to the pizzeria. Use this time to get feedback from everyone so that you can make the next show even better.

      Top 3 Reasons Why Modular Displays Are Better Than Custom Displays

      When it comes to trade shows, choosing the correct type of display for your booth is just as important as the product or service that you are trying to push. Your display can either be modular, which means that it can be changed on-the-fly, or it can be customized, which means that it is pre-assembled and not adjustable. Here’s why you should always have a modular exhibit for your products!

      Adaptability

      If you are a trade show veteran, you know that anything can happen at these kinds of events. You may arrive to find your booth space is smaller than you thought, or maybe your company has made a major change to its product at the last minute. With a custom display, you would be unable to incorporate these changes at all, but with a modular display, updating the size and presentation of your exhibit is a snap (literally)!

       A Fresh Look 

      Any trade show expert knows that you should keep your image fresh and sharp for your audience at all times. If you keep the same custom display show after show, your leads are going to become bored, and interest will dissipate. With a modular display, however, you can keep your booth looking new and different for each and every show.

      Maximum Ease 

      Custom displays are notoriously difficult to lug around when traveling. Modular displays, on the other hand, lets your representatives to build up and break down their booths without a hitch. You’ll be the first on the floor, and fast out the door once everybody is gone for the day.

      Interested in learning more about modular displays for trade shows? Come talk to us, and see for yourself how remarkably versatile our display products can be!

      Trade Shows: Tips for Getting the Conversation Started

      conversations trade shows

      You’ve set up your trade show booth using your portable trade show display system, but that’s only half the battle. What to do next?

      Once people start to walk around, you need to have a game plan in place in order to get their attention and engage them in conversation. This tends to be one of the greatest challenges of trade shows; getting people interested in what you have to offer. You can make your opener weird, creative, flattering, startling, or even a mix of these.

      One approach is to be completely upfront with the crowd. You could say something like “Just give me a minute of your time, and I can show you how ____ can ____.” This tells them that if they aren’t interested, all they lose is a minute of their time so really, what do they have to lose?

      You can try to establish some common ground by asking questions like “What do you think of the show so far?” Or “What’s your favorite booth so far?” Not only will this seem less sales-y than some other approaches, but you can even get some feedback on what other booths do correctly.

      Another approach is to be indirect with the person. “Can I ask for your opinion on this?” or “What do you think about ____?” are good ones to use.

      Consider a more hands-on approach. Ask a passerby if they would help demonstrate your product. Not only will that person get the full demo, others will see someone using it and become more interested in the product.

      Let’s face it, people love prizes and giveaways. Reel them in with a question like “Have you entered our contest/raffle for a free ____?”

      Comment on their behavior. “I see you’re checking out our products, are there any questions I can answer for you?” Always remember to be helpful and patient with customers. Some will be familiar with your product and some will have no idea what it is!

      Lastly, another approach is to keep it open-ended. “Are you familiar with ____?” or “Have you used ____ before?” or “What’s your favorite part of ____?” are some ways to keep it open.

      Starting conversations don’t have to be difficult. You may find a handful of approaches work best for you, so stick with those. Try out a couple and see what kind of reactions you get.
       
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