There are a number of reasons to invest in a presence at a trade show, including learning new skills, networking among peers, and connecting with prospective clients. While there are a plethora of reasons to participate in trade shows, you need to justify the expense of time and money with solid ROI. Following these 5 tips can help you maximize your expenditures for the best outcomes to your trade show participation.

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Top 5 Tips

  1. Choose The Best Trade Show For Your Purpose - One trade show might offer great exposure to prospective clients while another might give you the opportunity to learn from leaders in your field. It's important to know what your primary expectation is from attendance. If you're looking to leverage trade show participation directly into increased sales, you want to attend a show with a higher percentage of prospective clients and business contacts which will lead to more jobs. If the primary focus is on improving some aspect of your company, a better trade show might be one in which industry leaders are present and networking opportunities exist to create new partnerships and learn new skills.
  2. Send The Right Personnel - If you've chosen the trade show with a specific purpose, you'll need to choose exactly the right personnel to represent your company and bring back key points for your staff.
  3. Marketing Before The Event - If the trade show you're going to involves opportunities to meet new clients and showcases a speaker from your staff, hit the ground running with marketing that reaches your current list of clients and prospective customers. Announce the event through all of your social media channels, on your website, and through email campaigns. For events where you're seeking to network with industry leaders, introduce yourself ahead of time, even if it's as simple as tweeting how you're looking forward to hearing them speak.
  4. Booth Design & Location - Depending on the reason for your attendance, your booth's look, and location can make a great deal of difference in the success of your participation. While you'll want to budget the costs, keep in mind that you'll want the area to be comfortable enough to allow your peers and prospective clients to spend some time talking to you. Small things, like seating and outlets to charge phones and electronics can make a world of difference.
  5. Leveraging Information After The Event - Trade shows can take a lot out of you, but it's important that you don't just leave all of the information you've gained on the showroom floor. Come back to the office with a concrete plan on how to use the information you've learned, whether that includes follow ups with prospective clients or implementing new procedures based on expert lectures.

There are many ways to use the knowledge gained at a trade show to see substantial ROI. These 5 tips will help you keep your main focus on your specific goals for the event.


~Tony Johnson