Trade shows, exhibitions, expos… Whatever you call them, these types of events can bring big potential for your business. They offer the opportunity for valuable face-to-face interaction with a captive audience of potential customers. In fact, many trade shows have an admission charge just to get in, so you know the attendees really want to be there!
On the flip side, there’s always a fee for vendors to participate–and it can sometimes be a hefty one. So how do you maximize your investment and your event exposure? It’s a combination of advance planning, effective graphic design, and friendly follow-up!
- Plan your booth several months in advance. How much space do you have? Do you need table covers, backdrops, or stand-up banners? The lead time for ordering such custom items can be several weeks. Large, branded display pieces like these also need to be designed at the highest possible resolution to produce the best printed quality. They should be professional and eye-catching to increase visibility and draw people into your booth. Remember, you’re competing for attention with tens or even hundreds of other vendors!
- Start promoting several weeks in advance. This includes your website and social media, as well as email campaigns to announce your participation as a vendor. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, display signage or fliers to let customers know about the event. All of these promotional pieces should have a cohesive design that reflects your brand.
- Provide take-along pieces. Attendees are likely to be provided with a big bag to collect all their “goodies,” so make sure you have something to add to it. Having plenty of business cards on hand is obvious, but what about other literature? Consider fliers or brochures detailing your products/services, or even a special coupon that customers can redeem on their first purchase. (Don’t forget to include your social media profiles on all printed pieces.) Promotional items like pens, magnets, or sport bottles can also be a cost-effective way to keep your brand in front of people on a daily basis.
- Capture leads. Success isn’t always measured by sales you actually make on-site, but rather by lead acquisition. This can be in the form of a simple sign-up form for your email newsletter, or even a drawing where people provide their contact info to win a small prize. (Just be sure to include the fine print about opting in for your newsletter and their information won’t be shared with third parties, etc.)
- Follow up. Now that you have some new leads, use them! Send out an email within a few days to thank attendees who visited your booth. Remind them what your business has to offer and how your products/services can help them. Encourage people to follow you on social media and contact you with any questions they might have.
Do you have a trade show or other event coming up? We’d love to hear about it! And if you need help designing professional-quality display pieces, branded promotional items, or email/web campaigns, let us take the burden off your shoulders. We’ll make you look good, so you can focus on everything else.