“PERCEPTION IS REALITY” – Regardless of how high quality your products or services are, many people will form an opinion of your business by how you are presented at the show. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
“DO NOT CONFUSE ACTIVITY WITH PRODUCTIVITY” – Simply being at the show is not always enough. Competition is fierce and customer loyalty is more volatile than ever before. Your business needs to stand out from the rest. Take the time, put in that extra effort, stand out, and make the sales!
“MAKE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN SALES PEOPLE AND ORDER TAKERS” – Have the right people working in your booth. Trade shows/events generally have a very targeted audience. Sales leads are for the taking! However, do not assume the customers will simply come to you. You need to interact with the audience and “make” sales…just waiting at the booth to “take” orders may not be successful.
WHO WILL BE THERE?
– Know who your competition will be at the show. Tailor your offer around what you think your competition will be offering. Adjust price points to get an edge over competitors. Offering “show specials” is an easy way to thank consumers for visiting your booth. Also, know the consumers who will be there. This is just as important, if not more. Consumers can be overwhelmed at larger shows with many vendors. You may want to concentrate on specific products/services that you feel will interest your audience. Show organizers can provide you with a list of vendors who will be in the show. Additionally, some show organizers have demographics and other detailed statistics of the consumers who attend the show.
– Know the rules of the game. Some shows, for example, discourage or even disallow sales transactions onsite at the show. While the reasons for this are not very clear, be aware and be prepared. If you are offering a “show special” at one of these shows, have a certificate or something that customers can redeem at your retail outlet(s) to give them the same special at a restricted, later date. “Show specials” are also good to use when a customer seems interested but may not be ready to make a decision immediately. In larger metropolitan areas, unions need to be considered. For example, in numerous cities in Canada and the United States, you are not permitted to set-up your own booth. You may have no choice but to pay a local unionized employee to do the set-up for you. While this is not the case in Atlantic Canada, be aware for other cities and check with show organizers.
– Some organizers require that you have special insurance if you have a booth in their show. The cost of this insurance is usually very low; however, you may need it to be there. The day before the show may be too late to get the coverage you need.
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN YOUR BOOTH SPACE FEE?
– Make sure you know what is included in the price you are paying for your booth space. For example, some organizers charge extra for power, skirted tables, chairs, and/or carpet. With the exception of power (no choice but to use the power onsite), it may be cheaper to bring your own tables, chairs, and/or carpet. Keep in mind some of these need to be ordered in advance and may not be readily available if left till the day of or before. Check with organizers to see what is included with your space.
– Will you need equipment suck as laptops, desktops and monitors, TVs, DVD players, projectors, etc? Many of these are available for rental from FOCAL POINT and can be an excellent way to add spice to your booth and entice consumers to visit. Depending on your product/service, it may only take one or two sales to offset the cost of any of these rentals…something to think about.
SET-UP & TEAR DOWN TIMES & DATES
– Whether you are setting up your booth or have hired an outside company, make sure you give yourself enough time. The morning of the show is not always enough time to get all the kinks worked out. Most shows allow set-up a day or two before the show start date. Take advantage of this extra time. Once you are set up, you may get new ideas on how to make your presence better or ways to outshine your competition who are set up at the same show. Setting up early gives you time to pursue these new ideas.
Halifax – Nova Scotia – Since 2001