From generating leads to increased sales and marketing efficiencies, manning a trade show booth can do wonders for boosting your startup’s exposure; that is, if you can afford it. Depending on the size of the trade show, there will be a fee to enter into the show. When it’s an international show, it may be more expensive than local shows. This is because larger companies will likely be at bigger shows. The entry fee is usually the biggest cost as trade show booth displays can be quite affordable nowadays, especially if you shop around. Although trades shows are an excellent way to generate leads and build a reputation, the good news is that manning a booth isn’t the only way to benefit from trade show season. If money is a little tight, try these four tips for reaping the benefits of the trade show without shelling out for a booth:
1. Look for Opportunities Behind the Scenes
Trade shows run on volunteers, and many trade show dates are announced up to a year in advance. Offering to be involved with organizing the show could lead to connections with the right people. Or perhaps you could help out on the day of the event as a greeter or in some other kind of role in which you’ll be interacting with lots of different people. Have a specific plan in mind to position yourself for the most exposure.
2. Work the Room
While businesses with booths are confined to their small spaces, you are free to walk around and proactively seek out prospects. No matter how you plan on engaging in conversation, always have something to offer, whether it’s new information that adds value to a prospect’s experience or just a business card that sets up a future conversation.
Consequently, remember to bring along plenty of promotional materials like business cards to give out to fellow exhibitors and attendees. Want to try something a little bit different? Printed postcards are a great way to condense the key information about your products and services into an easily digestible format. There are plenty of postcard maker services out there nowadays that can help you to design and print promotional materials for your next trade show.
You could even consider getting some other different products to give out at the trade show too. Getting your business details printed by Custom Water onto water bottles can be useful. Giving out products like that can make people aware of your business.
3. Focus on Listening
Shift the focus from your own sales goals and ask attendees questions, giving them your full attention as you listen to their answers. Hear what they’re saying and answer genuinely so they may understand what it is that you can do for them.
4. Share Your Expertise
Add credibility to your startup by being a speaker or a panel expert. This can help you to increase visibility for your company while also attracting potential leads.
Photo Credit: NEXT Berlin via Flickr