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Exhibiting at Your First Tradeshow

Date Added: January 15, 2008 03:18:34 AM

Having been in the trade show industry for over 20 years as a designer, manufacturer and collaborator with exhibitors and show management has been very enlightening. What always seem to get my attention are the new trade show attendees who come to the show with great expectations only to find that at the end of the show they have made neither leads nor sales. I am here to tell you that you have either exhibited at the wrong show or most likely you went to the show totally unprepared. In this article we will offer some pointers to the unprepared exhibitor. Here are a suggestions: First thing and one thing only, ˜sales and leads" Sure you want product branding, but ultimately sales and leads ought to be the exhibitor's primary objectives

For the new exhibitor's first trade show I would suggest taking this approach. Secure your booth location preferably a location near the front of the main entry to the exhibit hall, It's also always good to get located near one of the larger veterans of that particular trade show. This will help to get you in the traffic spot light. Many people feel that getting on the front line of the exhibit hall is the best location, but that's not necessarily so, sometimes people move through the exhibit hall pass the front line before they truly begin to focus on what they want. Therefore, a location near the front, but not right in the immediate front line.

The exhibitor's booth should be a ˜crowd pleaser" while still projecting the company's image - a good way to get traffic to your booth. Secondly, offer a good product give-a-way or a prize. Please make sure that this prize is a good one, if you specialize in tire changing equipment do not give away Ipods, or plasma screens. Everyone in the convention hall would love to get a plasma screen or an Ipod. They will sign up for this, even if they are not interested in your product. This is a waste of time. Smart move is to have a drawing for a top of the line tire changing equipment or some service you provided. This will ensure that whoever signs up for this has some knowledge of systems and would prefer part of your service. They most likely are interested and need a tire changing machine and are willing to spend that kind of money on one. The list of sign-ups for the give-a-way/prize you have a list of leads, remember you what you are there for hint leads which can eventually turn into sales. How easy would that be to follow up a lead from your list of people who signed up for your drawing to win a tire changing equipment? Let's call this a targeted lead, why? you know what they are interested in - mufflers.

Second thing, at your first trade show always have a theme for your trade show booth. I have seen exhibitor at trade show with great looking custom trade show booth, crowds form around the booth and say wow what a nice looking booth, but five minutes later after leaving the booth they do not remember the exhibitors name or his or her product, but they remember the theme the booth had. Use this to your advantage design your booth with a theme that relates to your product. Incorporate your product name as well as your corporate name, now you are cooking with grease. I remember a few years ago I met a childhood idol, Jerry Lucas, yes the same Jerry Lucas who played for the world champion New York Knicks in basketball. When I met Jerry Lucas he was promoting a way to remember names of people he met. Well I am here to tell you it works, he simply would pick out some unique feature about that person, it could be the voice, the person's height or some unique feature, he would then make a mental tie to the person's name. This way he would remember a unique feature and the name would follow. The same principle works with trade show booth, remember the design and theme and then you will remember the corporate name.

That same theme should not only be reflected in the exhibit booth design but it should also be carried through onto your literature and give-away. That's your "corporate branding"