It’s easy to get attention at a trade show. Hire a clown or a booth babe, and chances are your booth will experience a significant boost in traffic. But, when it comes to making a lasting impression, these things won’t work, at least not as well as some well-thought out, calculated techniques. It’s certainly not easy, but everything in business takes time and effort. This is also why work starts months ahead of trade shows: to create pre-emptive buzz and to get the word around early.
Being constructively aggressive and loud will produce the best results. Why aggressive? It’s every owner for himself out there, and no one will do the work for you. Whatever it is that needs to be done, you can always count on yourself to get it done. If it means going to media outlets, using social media or proving that a product is useful, utilize it.
In the Moment
As for being loud, it’s the best strategy during the actual trade show. It’s not about shouting at people’s ears and getting a megaphone; that’s 19th century stuff. To make the most of a packed trade show, a custom display is king. This will ensure that the booth won’t look like anything else on the floor. Uniqueness works, especially if you would like to make a mark.
More than that, all staff members present must be proactive in the event. Enthusiasm is what customers and investors want, whether it’s initiating conversation or handing out flyers. There’s reason to be selective, but make sure potential business partners have something to hold on to, i.e. an incentive.
No, asking people to leave their calling cards or putting out free goodies don’t usually work. This ‘strategy’ is costly, and it’s not effective in grabbing the attention of potential customers. It would be better to stick to harder, more memorable ways of making an impression. Speaking on a panel, for one, will disseminate information about the business quite effectively.
Releasing a press release, whether long form or just a simple blurb, will make buzz. This is why e-mail and social media are cost-effective avenues to get the word out. It’s free, probably, and has extensive reach.
To get in a trade show is a big success. It probably won’t happen often, so it’s better to milk the opportunity now. There’s a lot of work to do to get a heads up. Nonetheless, success is worth all that effort.