trade show season

Fall Trade Show Season: How Will You Prepare?

Getting the Most Out of Your Trade Show Experience This Season

Fall is right around the corner, and in addition to foliage, pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters, it also brings the start of trade show season. For businesses with a hunger for growth, trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to network, showcase your best products and build relationships and revenue.

Planning a great trade show experience is a balancing act, however. For many companies, especially those without experience on the trade show floor, the constant traveling, interfacing and promoting can get exhausting. Is the potential pay-off worth all the trouble, you ask? Absolutely! Trade shows can help companies bring in tons of connections, industry exposure, and new customers. Getting the most out of your trade show simply means a little extra planning and a lot more foresight.

Know Before You Go

Heading to a trade show without a detailed plan for networking, promotion, and selling is a little like trying to dress yourself in the dark. You have a limited sense of direction and will likely waste a lot of precious time trying to figure things out. Pre-show preparation is an absolute must, especially when it comes to your networking and promotion strategies.

There are a few key elements to trade show preparation that should be done in plenty of advance:

+ Recognize your company’s weaknesses and goals for the trade show. What would you like to have accomplished by the end of the show’s last day? Set specific numbers, create detailed plans and ensure that your company’s trade show representatives are deeply familiar with each aspect of those plans

+ Select promotional materials, free samples, any trade-show-only discounts, or company literature that you feel is strategic in helping accomplish your company’s trade show goals

+ Choreograph networking strategies. Be familiar with the trade show’s list of exhibitors and attendees and know which companies you’d like to reach out to. Get familiar with their products or services and be prepared to offer information on your own.

Prepare Your Booth for Maximum Appeal

Among the more vital steps towards trade show success is creating a booth that appeals to your customers, draws them in, and gets them curious about your company.

Interactive materials are always a plus; touch screens, tablets and other visual materials will help create a more accessible and memorable experience for your booth’s visitors.

+ Establish a secure identity for your brand that will appeal to your booth’s visitors. Provide a clear call-to-action, with marketing materials and tools that both support your brand identity and bolster your company’s goals for the trade show. A cohesive strategy, where all the pistons are humming towards the same motion, is the key to getting the most out of your company’s trade show outing.

Prepare Yourself and Your Team

The pace of the trade show can be exhausting, but it’s important that both you and your team of representatives know the recipe for success in regards to trade show conduct.

Presentation of your booth is important:

+ Don’t leave litter, such as a coffee cups, water bottles, food wrappers or other trash in view of visitors to your booth. Have trash receptacles nearby and encourage your team to always dispose of any materials that would cause clutter or disarray in your space. You don’t want your visitors to be distracted by an unkempt space when they could be learning about your company.

+ Be vigilant that all of your interactive devices are running and accessible to visitors at all times.

+ Make sure that any company literature, such as pamphlets or fliers, are organized and easily accessible to your booth visitors. This also applies to business cards and contact information you may have available.

The other side of preparing yourself and your team for trade show endurance is to make a schedule for manning the booth and making the rounds on the trade show floor. Remember: your impact is effectively cut in half if no one on your team ventures out onto the floor with promotional materials and a networking plan to execute.

Create a manageable plan that will work best for your company; if you have employees who are enthusiastic and historically successful at networking, send them out onto the floor. If each member of your team is equally enthusiastic about splitting their time between the booth and the floor, you could create a rotating schedule with shifts that end at particular times.

Create a Post-Show Follow Up Plan

You may collect 200 business cards at your next trade show, but they’re as good as worthless without a great follow-up plan for moving forward with those contacts.

It’s important to make notes as you engage with people, whether mentally or in a specified notebook, that will guide you towards a successful follow-up encounter.

Send prompt emails and attempt to establish correspondence with your hottest leads, soon after the trade show is over. This effort may help you capture a huge fraction of the potential business you built up on the trade show floor.

Save Energy and Frustration By Choosing the Best Transportation

If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times: trade show season is exhausting. There’s so much more involved in the experience than just heading to the trade show and going home when it’s over. There is extensive travel, including long flights with layovers and confusing sojourns through unfamiliar cities. Often, the transportation that trade show exhibitors rely on simply doesn’t measure up to the demands of the experience.

That’s where chauffeured car service can make a world of difference.

If there’s one method of transportation that seems catered to the packed schedules, stresses and exhaustion of trade shows, it’s chauffeured car service, with local expert chauffeurs, spacious luxury vehicles and great customer service to help ease every angle of the trade show commute.

The right transportation company, such as OML Worldwide of Chicago, will ensure that you and your team have a late-model vehicle waiting the moment you need it, driven by a seasoned professional who knows the city and has respect for your schedules.

When you’re tired at the end of the day, you’ll be greeted punctually at your chosen location, with no wait times or confusion. If there is ever a problem or a snag in your reservation, you have a fully staffed and capable customer service team waiting to answer questions and offer solutions.  

Your chauffeur will whisk you back to your hotel, where you can absorb the events of the day, engage with your team about the next day’s plans, or simply relax.

You know the incredible benefits your company can enjoy by organizing a trade show exhibition or attendance for your team. If trade show transportation is your biggest gripe, it might be time to discover the easier way: chauffeured car service provided by a reputable and trustworthy company.

Photo Credit: ThinkGeoEnergy

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.