Tradeshow Tips- Follow Ups

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Would you believe me if I told you that what happens after the show is probably MORE important than what actually happens at the show? Here are some tips that we feel will help you make the most of your follow-ups!

#1- Contact prize winners asap. You don’t them to forget about you! Kill two birds with one stone and conduct your follow up with the winner at the same time. Are they interested in booking? Would they like a consultation? Ask them for their opinion on the event, and about your product/service in particular.

#2- Contact anyone who expressed interest at the event first. Maximize your time with the most promising leads first. Keep in mind that they saw a lot of vendors that day, so you might have to remind them who you are and what you do. Bonus points if you remember if they were interested in booking, buying, signing up, etc. If possible, use the phone for these follow-ups.

#3- Contact everyone else. You might be surprised who is actually more interested than they seemed, those events can be overwhelming for attendees too! I would suggest using email for these follow-ups though, so people who aren’t interested don’t feel tele-marketed.

#4- Grow your mailing list. I suggest only adding people who have given you permission to do so (this is why I suggested adding that info to your ballots!) Email newsletters are a great way to stay at the top of everyone’s minds. If your company doesn’t offer one for you, or if you are self-employed, I suggest getting one going (I’ve had great success with MailChimp, and depending on the size of the list, it could easily be free!)

#5- Re-book! If you enjoyed a successful event, re-book it as soon as possible. Often these events fill up very quickly, so reserve your spot!

There you have it, the last in the series! If you have any follow-up tips to add, we’d love to hear them!

This is the final post in our Tradeshow Success Series!

You can find part one here: Tradeshow Tips From The *Ahem* Pros
You can find part two here: Tradeshow Prep Tips
And you can find part three here: Tradeshow Tips- At the Event

Tradeshow Tips- At the Event

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Hello! This is part 3 of our Tradeshow success series.

So far we’ve covered what you need to worry about in getting ready for the event, and what you should be concerned about in terms of set-up. This post is all about how it should be at the event!

#1- Be there! Obvious, right? But I don’t just mean to be there physically, but be there mentally as well. If you aren’t present, potential customers will notice. So, down that coffee and clear your mind!

#2- Taking names! Collect information from customers, interested customers, potential team members, etc. This is important for everyone, but especially important for those events where a contact list is not created by the organizer. Ballots are a great way to do this! Set-up a draw, and collect names, phone numbers, and email addresses (a check box for being added to your newsletter is a great add too!)

Ballots can be easily thrown together on any typing program, printed several to a sheet, and then cut apart before the event.

#3- Stand and speak. It never fails, the vendors who always complain that they’ve had a ‘less than successful’ event, are usually the ones who I notice sitting behind their table, head down (or worse, buried in their phone!) and not initiating contact with anyone. So stand up, and speak up!

#4- Use all of your tools. Anything and everything that you have at your disposal- that slideshow you created, catalogs, testimonials, personal experience, free samples, incentives, etc.

#5- Do not, and I repeat, do not complain about other vendors. Often you will find yourself at an event where there is another company serving the same target market (another jewelry company, another make-up company, another insurance broker, etc) and I’ve actually had attendees come to me to complain that one of the vendors was actually verbally bashing the other. If your attendees are noticing this as unprofessional, it is unprofessional. It actually drives your business to the competitor. So be nice! Feel free to tell them why

your product or service is awesome, but don’t open your mouth about why you feel your competition’s isn’t.

#6- Connect with other vendors too. You sell lockets? Let other vendors know that you can customize them for their company! You sell Thirty-One? Show other vendors how great your organizational totes are for keeping their business neat! Not only can other vendors be potential customers too, chances are they’ll be faces that you see at events regularly, so be friendly!

You can find part one of the Tradeshow Success Series here.
And part two is over here.
And then the final part is right here.

Tradeshow Prep Tips

While your performance at the event is important, your preparation is every bit so as well! Coming to event prepared will not only shine through, it will also increase your confidence!

So, we’ve put together 6 Simple Tips to help you prepare for your next event, no matter the size!

#1- Call in the reinforcements! Do you have a team? An outgoing best friend? A husband/wife that believes in your business? A teenager looking to make some extra cash? Call them in!

Having an extra set of hands at the event not only helps during the busy times, it also helps for security reasons! At some point during the event you will inevitably have to go to the bathroom, get something to eat, or run out for an energy run (ahem, coffee break).

#2- Get the 411. Find out as much information about the event as you can ahead of time. The theme? What is expected of vendors? What you are expected to bring? Is power is supplied (if so, will you need an extension cord)? If a table is supplied, how big is it? Is there wifi available? Are you permitted to hang banners? Are door prizes required/suggested? So many questions that need answers!

#3- Promotional materials. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to run our of business cards mid-event! So make sure that you are well-stocked! Also, make sure that your promotional materials are appealing to look at and informative, they are the piece of your business that your prospective customers will carry with them! You can always pay someone to design them for you, or you can take on the work yourself and have them printed by a company like Vistaprint.

#4- Stock. If you have a physical item to sell, ensure that you are well-stocked for the event! Keep in mind not to stock more than you think you can reasonably sell, however, or you will have very little return on your investment. Common sense is a good measure here, stock more of your best sellers, new products, and favorites. For the items that you don’t have on hand, a slideshow or well thought out collage is a great way to gather orders!

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#5- Take time to design. Once you’ve gotten all of the info that you need for the event, it should be easy to at least get a general idea of the look you’re going for. Pinterest is a great place to gather ideas for different designs and set-up ideas! Yeah, sure, it’ll change a bit when it comes to set up, but it’s always a good idea to have something in mind.

#6- Methods of payment. You need to decide which ones you want to offer, and how you’re going to get it done. Cash, of course, is a common one, so make sure you have a float to make change when needed and also a receipt book. As we all know though, debit and credit are more common payment methods these days. Luckily, there’s an app for that! Personally, I’ve had a very good experience with Square Register. But I also know there are many other choices available! (If you use something else, please leave a review in the comments, I’d love to hear about your experience!)

And there you have it, part two in our Tradeshow Success series! (As always, we’d love to hear your tried and true tips- or things to avoid- as well!

You can find part one here!
Part three is over here.
And part four, right here.

Tradeshow Set-Up Tips from *ahem* Pros

We’ve been around the block when it comes to tradeshows, ya know, just a time or two. While we’re busy doing all of the behind the scenes, we’ve noticed a lot about how our vendors spend their set-up time, and how that generally strongly impacts their success at each event.

I’m always impressed by the vendors that can roll in and complete a perfect set-up in 20 minutes flat, but I’m equally impressed by the vendors that show up as soon as the doors open and are totally analyzing every aspect and they just care so much about the layout. But at each and every show, without fail, there is a vendor or two who is really new at events and are so nervous that they fumble their way through before they find their “groove”.

This post is for you, for all of you! Just a few tips from those of us who have seen it all, from both sides of the table.

#1- Presentation is EVERYTHING.
presentation
We provide you with beautiful pipe and drape, a table, cloth, and skirting- but the rest is up to you!

So make it eye catching, you want to stand out! Make it colorful or classy and sleek (based on your product and the image you want to leave), make it multi dimensional (no one wants your display to feel like a yard sale- so give it a high-low boutique feel), showcase a variety of products/services- including best Sellers and new releases of course!

#2- Present yourself!

Okay, we’ve talked about presenting your goods, but that’s not the only presentation that is important! In addition to selling your products, you also have to sell yourself!

So, clean yourself up! Look the part! This of course varies greatly with the theme of the event, while you can probably safely dress down a bit at a children’s event, it’s a good bet that you should dress it up for a bridal or fashion event.

No, this does not mean you have to go drop huge cash on attire, it simply means dress like you belong there! If you aren’t sure what the “dress code” (and I’m using that very loosely), will be for an event, ask the show manager! We love to help!

#3- Promote!

We will go onto a little more depth about this in our “Tradeshow Prep” post, but I do think it’s important to touch on here too.

Make sure your promo material matches, is plentiful, and is readily available! While some wonderful people will ask for it, many won’t and will walk away without your contact info otherwise!

#4- Boutique It!

Draw people into your space. Yeah, I know, it’s only an 8×10! Do it anyway!

By placing your table on the back, along the side, or at an angle you are literally forcing people to enter your “store”, and trust me, it’s much more effective than them just strolling by!

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#5- Make it Interactive!

How this is done, of course, will vary greatly depending upon your product or service. But do something!

Offer samples, have a game, a contest, do a demonstration, or even just a slideshow. This grabs peoples attention and also keeps people waiting to talk to you even if you are busy with other attendees.

This isn’t just advice for those if you with a physical product either! One of the best examples of this that I have seen was actually done by a gym! Even Batman couldn’t resist the Plank Challenge!

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#6- Make it fit!

Just as you should dress for the specific event, so should your booth!

For example, if it’s a children’s event, bring along some toys, coloring books, balloons- anything to keep the children happy while the parents browse!

If it’s a bridal event, classy and chic is definitely a better bet.

There you have it, ladies and gents! Six set up tips that we hope will help you have the best event possible the next time around!

Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear your tips and advice!

This is part one of a four part series, you can find part two over here!
Then stop over to part three, here.
And then onto the final piece, here.