Trade shows can be a great way to put yourself out there and generate some new leads for your business.  There’s just something about that face-to-face interaction that does wonders. Here at inConcert Web Solutions, we’re all about making everything work together for the complete experience. Whether we’re fixing up a website, creating designs for print or customizing promotional items, we know how to spread the word. To get the most out of your trade show experience, here are a few tried-and-true techniques that we recommend as marketing experts.

Be prepared.  If you’re missing something, you won’t have time to run out and fetch it, especially if you’re the only person there to represent your business. Trust us on this one! It’s better to have everything you’ll need than to do without. You’re trying to attract clients. You want them to be impressed with you. Take the time to get everything together beforehand and you will not regret it. This means business cards, brochures, fliers, web promotions, social media posts… everything!

Set up is quick and painless for us at trade shows! We’ve got three banners, two chairs, and a literature rack, plus a tablecloth and stuff to give away.

Keep set-up simple. Believe it or not, a simple display can be just as effective (if not more!) as a complicated and expensive booth.  You’ll save time and money on travel, setting up, and breaking down, plus you won’t have to carry a lot of heavy stuff or hire anyone to do it for you! A streamlined booth can help your visitors focus on your business instead of distracting them.

Bring something to hand out. Visitors are great, but you want them to remember you after they’ve walked off. Make sure you have plenty of branded promotional products and informative handouts. Bags, hats and pens are all traditional trade show swag since they’re likely to be kept and used, but unique items can help your brand stand out from the crowd. Plus, remember, the more you give away, the less you have to carry home after it’s all over!

Be friendly. Don’t be afraid to talk to people – it’s what you’re there for! Just because someone is walking by your booth without making eye contact doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to greet them anyway. Asking “Hey, how’s it going?” is a polite way to break the ice and maybe get your prospect to at least look at you, if not stop and chat.  The whole point of the trade show is face-to-face interaction, so don’t let opportunity pass you by.

Form relationships. Don’t start with sales pitches.  Often times, the people you meet at trade shows will not even think about becoming your customer for months afterward. The reality is that every single person you ever meet is a prospective lead for your company – you just have to wait for the right time. They may not need your services now but that could change. If you make an effort to truly connect with people on a personal level instead of adhering strictly to business, you will be more successful at networking.

Does your company go to trade shows? What are your thoughts? Let us know!