Being an exhibitor at a business show or trade show is a great way to connect with new leads and build your brand’s reputation. However, a common problem with trade shows is that there are so many booths, and yours may blend in as people walk up and down the aisles. What can set your company apart from others so that you meet more people, find more leads, and get recognition for your business? The Pittsburgh Business Show has some strategies to gain more leads and more effectively network during your next trade show:
. We don’t mean start early in the morning on the day of the show—we mean start weeks, or better yet, several months before the show begins. Check to see if the expo has a list of all exhibitors available. Study that list and see who else will be at the show, what their business is about, and what their notable products or services are. Then, create a “must-meet list” of those business you’d like to meet. Send them an email or contact them through LinkedIn, asking for a time to get together during the show, or maybe ask if they can set up a time to talk during one of the show’s networking activities or evening events. That way, you’ll already have people to talk to instead of scrambling to meet the “right” businesses during the show.
. Have a system to manage all of the contacts that you’re making during the show, and follow up with them right away. There’s no reason to wait, especially if a contact told you to get in touch soon. Connect with them on LinkedIn, send interesting articles that they may find relevant for their industry, and do a great job of being a partner to them. Cultivating these relationships will be the most important part of your business show experience.
. Many companies put their sales machine in the booth and expect them to sell. Consider having your product experts there to interact, too. When people visit a trade show, they don’t want to be sold to—they want to hear how you can solve their problems. If you’re in the computer industry, train your developers or systems analysts to talk to potential customers and make sure they know how to explain your products. If you’re in finance, ask some of your number crunchers to man the booth and review your demos with interested attendees. That way, everyone knows how you can help, not just that you have a great product.
. Let everyone know that you’re at the show. Social media use can be a huge help, especially if you count business contacts among your social media friends and followers. Some ideas include: Create a selfie board where people can take their pictures and post on Facebook or Twitter that they’re at your booth. If you have the resources, design a backdrop with the trade show’s name that you can share for people to impose over selfies. Come up with a hashtag for your company while at the show. All of these ideas will put your company out there for the public to see, generating interest in your products.
The Pittsburgh Business Show, being held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on April 19-20, 2017, will be the one of the largest business conventions in Pittsburgh. If your company wants to seek recognition in our region and would like to meet other businesses to share ideas and create opportunities, sign up to be at our business show in Pittsburgh.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“The only show you will need to attend this year”