The best idea for marketing at a trade show is to not wait until people approach you, but walk the floor and read name tags. When you see five guys in suits, all huddled together, and their name tag says “Fortune 500 Company” you approach them right there!
Give them your elevator speech. Get their business cards. When they walk down the aisle where you booth is, be there waiting for them.
As I mentioned before about Marketing, it is important to come at the buyer from all angles.
Give the buyer a reason to place an order today. Make a huge banner that says, “10% off all order today!” Some buyers come to the show looking for closeouts or clearance items. Use the show to empty out your warehouse of slow moving products.
Be ready to write a sale at anytime. Walk around with your order book. Some buyers do not realize that we are looking to write sales at the show. We need to ask for the order. This goes back to Marketing 101, you will not get an order unless you ask for it.
Do you like the product? Yes. Is it what you are looking for? Yes.
Should I write the invoice for ten cases or twenty cases? Make the sale happen!
Email the buyer from the show. Have the back office mail out catalogs that day. Expos are great places to collect business cards. Use the information they give you and continue the marketing immediately. The salesman who waits until the buyer gets back to the office will never get a meeting. It is important to schedule a meeting in person when possible.
Raffles are a great way to collect business cards. The prize doesn’t have to be huge. You don’t need to give away a flat screen TV. A fifty dollar gift certificate to a restaurant is perfectly fine. Walk around the show with a sign and a bowl collecting business cards.
Once you have their business cards, I don’t need to tell you what you can do with it.
Promotional items are tricky at expos. Everyone is giving them out and they range from cheap pens, to funky pens, hand sanitizers to band aid dispensers. Depending on the expo and how many people will attend is a major determining factor in the budget for promotional items.
If it is a smaller expo with less than one thousand attendees, think about something more unique. Something the customer will use and something that everyone else isn’t already doing.
It does not have to be an item that is related to your industry. If you are in healthcare, give out a screwdriver, if you are in the tool industry, give out band-aid dispensers.
Marketing is about making sales. Marketing must make the customer remember you.
Non buyers are a waste of time. Many bored hotel guests walk around trade shows. Fellow exhibitors walk the floor to see the products. You can greet them, but don’t get into a whole conversation and sales pitch, save that for the post show cleanup.
A real buyer who is interested in your product will walk past because you look busy. They may plan to come back later, but only half the time will they actually come back.
Put a price on it! Pricing your products at a trade show is important. Which price should you use? Use the MSRP if you don’t feel comfortable revealing the wholesale price.
Read about Successful Selling At Trade Shows