So, you’ve decided to exhibit at a trade show. Amazing decision. In-person trade shows are one of the most important weapons in a business’s arsenal that can be used to grow new business and maintain existing relationships.
But as amazing as a trade show can be there’s a lot to consider. The first thing on the list would be to consider what type of event would be best for your company to participate in. When deciding this consider what type of clients are you trying to attract? Typically, there are two types of trade shows, consumer (cash & carry) shows and B2B or wholesale trade shows. If you’re just starting out there are benefits to both types of shows but it’s important to be aware of the differences. Consumer shows are marketed towards the general public and are the perfect event to grow consumer awareness of your brand. B2B trade shows are exactly what they sound like and can help to present your band to wholesale customers, retailers, and distributors.
How do I structure my trade show booth? Once you’ve decided what type of trade show to attend, determine if you should bring inventory to resell at the show. For consumer trade shows it’s recommended to carry inventory of your product. To capture sales at your booth, you will probably need a POS system. Read more about how to set up a POS system HERE. For B2B shows it’s important to have product samples showing an overview of your entire line. Having a paper order form ready to pass out to wholesale clients is also a great idea as well. A paper order form fosters conversations about forming a business partnership and serves as a guaranteed next step in communication. And of course, if you’re selling individual products or an entire planogram it’s a great way to recoup the expense of participating in the trade show.
Now that you’ve decided what type of trade show to participate in and what you need to bring it’s time to consider marketing. Now this is a long conversation. But the big take away should always be, what is my company’s message and how can I portray that to my customers? Simple things like choosing a color story for your company and carrying that into all aspects of your brand whether it be your website, your trade show banners, or all your printed marketing materials is incredibly important. Keeping your company aesthetic consistent is imperative to building brand recognition and relationships with your customers. A great resource for easy creation of marketing material is the design platform Canva. Canva lets you bypass learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and allows you to create flyers, trade show banners, social media ads and so much more. At $12.99 for a monthly subscription or $119.99 per year Canva is a real steal.
Now here are some final take-aways. Always read the exhibitor manual. You can find everything you need to know about the show in the manual. From housing deals, to shipping and ordering deadlines, the exhibitor manual is where you’ll find out all the important stuff. Also, location, location, location. When picking out a space for your booth look for a corner booth either towards the show entrance or near another highly trafficked area. It’s also important to always bring your best energy on show days. Get involved in show sponsored events and networking activities, you never know where your next big break will come from. But of course, most of all, always pack a Dri Mark counterfeit detection product in your show bag to protect cash transactions. You never want to go through all the effort of participating in a trade show just to bring your profits to the bank and discover that you’ve been duped. Check out all of Dri Mark’s counterfeit detection solutions HERE.