Show Tactics Revealed
How do you decide whether a trade show is worth your
time? How do you decide the best way to get the most
out of a trade show? There will be a lot of questions
on your mind before the big day, but the bottom line
is always planning. Make sure there will be room for
attention-getting items like a portable
photo booth or a customized
popcorn machine with your company logo. But if
you're strapped for space, consider smaller touches
that have a big impact, like customizable
scratch off cards or a treasure
chest. Even if you're forced into less than ideal
conditions, your trade show experience can still be
Being part of a trade show gives small
business a chance to experience economies of scale and
to mix around with the big guys. This may also be the most
stressful period for the PR Dept. head as he will hope
that R & D people
will be able to bring out the latest prototype of the company’s
new and “hot” product to a large audience.
Top management may plan to use the trade show to increase
profitability and market share.
Here are some tips:
The purpose of participation:
whether you company should be part of this trade show,
there must be a meeting of top management about the demographics
of their target audience and the overall impact of the
trade show. If the trade show is to launch a new product,
then it should be obvious that all promotional literature
and samples of the new product be ready. On the other hand,
if participation in the trade show is just to create awareness
and corporate visibility, then through prior research,
ensure that the neighboring booths (your competitors) do
not steal your “thunder”.
co-sharing your booth:
Co-sharing your booth with
an alliance can be positive if there is synergy. It can
also help lower the cost of booth rental and introduce
your services to your alliance’s
However, the dangers of this approach is that
one exhibitor may garner more exposure and publicity which
may cause some dissent; there is also the issue of the
signage and the “overall feel” of the booth
that has to be agreed by both parties.
It is logical to prepare a multimedia experience for participants
because there will be many booths shouting for attention. Trade
shows are normally chaotic in nature. Thus make enquiries
about the installation of large projector screens and platforms
before committing yourself to the trade show.
with the trade show organizers:
organizers will be promoting the event in the various media
and your company should find out if you can tag onto this
media blitz. A common method is to offer your company’s
new product as a prize for the event’s grand contest.
Have you been to an exhibitor’s
booth and asked for brochures and be given the reply
that they had run out of supply? Similarly, you discovered
that the chart displayed at the booth and the information
provided in the brochure was not the same. What was your
impression of the credibility and level of professionalism
of the organization?
It is essential that all information in the
brochures and promotional materials be checked for accuracy
and their supply sufficient for the entire event. Trade
visitors will remember the organization by these items.
your sales staff well:
If you need to get temporary
staff to help out, ensure that they are well drilled about
the new product and the company’s business philosophy.
They must be forth-coming with their replies to enquiries
from the public. They should not just wear the company’s
specially designed T-shirt and hand out flyers!
It is not realistic to expect “record sales” during
show. It is also important to create a rapport with
the trade visitors by encouraging them to fill out feedback
forms with their personal particulars. This will entitle
them to a gift. The gifts must also be designed so that
the organization will be remembered even after the trade
show is over.
Use this opportunity of being part of the trade show to
network with other trade show participants. Set aside some
time to interact with them and understand their business
and services. You may form future alliances.
up the morale of your team:
Being part of a trade show can build up the morale and
teamwork of your employees. Remember to rotate the duties
of each member like handing out brochures or manning the
booth. It is also important that they understand that the
image that they convey to trade visitors during the event
will go a long way in creating brand consciousness and
About The Author
Colin Ong TS is a recognized authority
in Corporate and Career Strategy. Visit his sites at http://www.mrmc.com.sg;