Do you remember what it was like when you prepared for your last job interview? There was likely a great deal of time spent getting ready for your meeting: pressing your suit, styling your hair, reviewing key notes on the position, and getting plenty of rest (just for starters).
In a similar way, the planning and preparation that goes into a successful trade show requires no less attention to detail. Everything you do matters before, during, and after your next show! With this in mind, we've compiled a list of essential ways to make sure you hit the show floor running towards success.
It all comes down to this: Do you want the job, or not?
Organization, the Tie That Binds
To make sure all those weeks and months of planning aren't all for naught, you must organize your thoughts -- seriously, put them in a binder (physically or digitally). The closer you get to the show, the more you'll want to have all the key information handy. Showtime is no time to frantically sift through files and emails! Once you pull yourself together, you can begin with confidence.
Don't Reveal Too Much
As you set up your exhibit, leave a healthy amount of mystique around your brand. You want people to be drawn to your booth enough to stop and talk, right? Position your collateral, signage, and giveaways strategically so the prospects you so desperately desire to meet will pay you a visit. Give them a reason to come over and start a discussion. Trade show planning beforehand will help you figure out and implement these key moments.
Pearls Before Swine
As you interact with attendees and get the potential gears of the sales process turning, it's important not to go after everyone who walks by. Time is valuable, so gauge your interactions on the show floor well and meet the right prospects for your company. A smaller number of contacts who are a great fit for your services will amount to way more revenue than a huge amount of leads that are going nowhere. Bring your boss back value, not mere volume.
Have A Pen, for Goodness Sake
Impactful conversations don't amount to much if you don't finish each of them by asking for more information. Have a way to capture this information -- a registration system, contact cards, or a laptop with the correct form pulled up, and always have a pen as a backup -- so that you have a way to learn more about your prospects and contact them after the show ends. If you miss this step, you've missed the point of why you're there.
Be proactive and use every moment of the trade show to communicate, talking to passers-by, prospects and even non-attendees via social media. Social media is the megaphone of the new Millenium, so use it! Events like trade shows are wonderful opportunities to document what it's like to be the boots on the ground, shouting from the rooftops your company's influence and effectiveness to those within the convention center and without. Using hashtags on platforms like Twitter, you may be surprised to see how many people stop by your booth because of a post they saw online!
Show Up, SUIT UP AND Show off
What was it about that last interview that secured your current job? It likely came down to preparation, personality, and passion -- use these things to effectively represent your company the next time you hit the show floor! Trade show planning will help you harness these three things and maximize them to get the most out of every event.
Don't waste a moment!
For more Trade Show advice, download our Tips for Trade Show Move-Out