This past May I had the pleasure of experiencing my first tradeshow. I’d heard from my fellow coworkers the basic idea of what went on at a tradeshow, but until I had gotten a taste for myself I didn’t realize all the planning and prep it took. And I must say it is quite tiring! Traveling, hauling luggage, navigating your way through a giant convention center, setting up a booth and then standing all evening chit-chatting with booth visitors…big high fives go out to all those who do this on a regular basis. However, it is an awesome and rewarding experience that leaves you with some very valuable knowledge. Learn what we do to make sure our staffers are completely comfortable, what we do to prepare for a show and how we get attendees to visit our booth.
We all know that standing for long periods of time can put a strain on you physically, no matter how fit you may be. This is why we always suggest bringing a different pair of shoes for each day you work your tradeshow booth. Switching up your shoes will help ease the potential soreness your back, feet and ankles may endure. We also like sending a little care package for our reps that are working the booth. We fill bags with energizing snacks, bottled water, Advil and mints, and write inspiring or motivational messages on the bags to help get them pumped and ready to greet people. It always helps when it’s a surprise as well; we pack these care packages in with our tradeshow shipment and ship it straight to the show floor.
Now that you have some ideas on how to make your staffers comfortable, what about getting people to stop at your booth? First and foremost, try something new! Stay away from passing out the same old boring pen every year and instead try handing out a new product. Hand sanitizer is always a good option since people walking the show floor are bound to be doing a lot of handshaking. Or why not try a reusable bag or tote? Attendees will love having something to carry all their SWAG in! They will also continue to get great use out of a reusable bag in their everyday lives.
Free “stuff” is always a good incentive to get people into your booth, but it also really helps if your booth looks inviting. Create an open atmosphere by placing tables along the sides of your booth or have something fun for your visitors to engage in. We love watching people play our dice game and seeing them get excited about winning prizes or discounts. Also, make sure your name or company logo is in plain view. Don’t make people guess what you have to offer…have your company logo where it can be seen and your products out for people to pick up and test out. Having brochures or flyers about your current specials, product catalogs and business cards handy are always powerful tools.
To make sure we have all the kinks fixed and all the little details figured out, we always have a pre-show meeting. Getting together before a tradeshow is incredibly helpful, builds team work and gets everyone excited about the show. Go over schedules, what products will be featured, inventory counts and goals for each show. Being prepared ahead of time means your team will have a fun and successful show.
We hope you’ll try some of our tradeshow tactics or have learned something new from us. But, as always, do what works best for you and your team! If you have a tip or trick that has worked wonders for you, please share it with us in a comment below. Happy trade-showing!