Trade shows have a life of their own no matter whether they are going to last a day or a month; you will quickly find that each individual trade show event you attend, whether as an attendee or as an exhibitor will take on a rhythm all of its own.
Tapping into this pulse is something that experienced trade show afficionados are excellent at – they have to be!
Everything is compressed into frenetic bursts of activity in a very short period of time. If you are with a big company, corporate expectations are high and a big mistake is that they are set far too high while smaller companies where budget really plays a crucial limiting role can frequently be overwhelmed by the routine and the demands placed upon them in order to succeed against the big boys.
Prior preparation is vital!
On the day you are selling and networking; if you are still trying to get organized with your trade show display you have fouled up so pay attention.
Get yourself organized for the day; book everything in advance from your marketing collateral to your hotel or route to the trade show.
Invite your customers and business partners; promote your attendance well in advance of the tradeshow; don’t be shy about shouting from the rooftops that you are exhibiting as this is your primary responsibility – there are no refunds if you don’t sell anything or break even.
Schedule your day; I know you’re going to be busy trying to attract and develop new relationships but be professional and demonstrate that to your prospects and clients. Don’t rush a meeting just because someone else is hopping up and down; book them an appointment either for the day or after the show itself; after all it’s what visitors are their for!
Capture your prospect and booth visitor information; collecting business cards or if you are using scanners and barcodes, make sure your system is in operation and works to collate all of the information which will allow you to follow up.