In the United States, over 10,000 expos are held every year, focusing on a huge range of industries. To participate, businesses that decide to attend trade shows rent a space in order to show off their products and services. These booths can cost as much as $100 per square foot, so it is important to make careful, impactful decisions. Here are two tips for achieving trade show success, so that your booth fees aren't wasted. 

1: Have a Goal in Mind

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when you attend a trade show is not having a firm idea of what you hope to accomplish while you are there. If you set up shop without any real sense of purpose, you might end up being more of a spectator than promoting your business. Here are a few things that you can achieve by attending a trade show, so that you can start shaping your goals. 

  • Attract New Customers: Trade shows allow the customers to come to you. It has been found that over 81% of trade show attendees have buying power. People go to trade shows in order to learn about the hottest new products on the market, or to find different vendors for their companies. When you go to a trade show, you have the opportunity to gain a fresh infusion of customers.
  • Gain Feedback: One of the great things about participating in an exposition is that it allows you to learn more and gain instant feedback about your business. By talking with the people attending the fair, you can gain important information as to what folks are looking for, and what they like or don't like about your product.
  • Education: Trade shows regularly offer classes and lectures taught by industry professionals about subjects that are pertinent to your business. For example, if you are attending a Self-Storage Business convention, there might be classes about how to make your facility a safer place for your tenants. Attending these events can help you to gain a better understanding of the market, and help you to avoid mistakes that others have made. 

Before you register to participate in an exhibit show, talk with your team about what you hope to accomplish while you are there. As you work your booth, keep track of sales information, customer questions, and the number of business cards that you issue. After the show, go over the data that you collected with your staff in order to gauge the success of your visit.

2: Make Your Booth Special

Trade shows allow industry professionals to come together and meet with thousands of potential customers. Unfortunately, because your booth will be situated alongside other people who are in the same business as you, it is important to make your area stand out. Here are a few ways that you might be able to set your booth apart from the rest, so that you can have an edge over other participants.

  • Use Technology: Bring your booth into the 21st Century. Consider using video demonstrations, interactive touch screens, or even social media in order to get the word out about your business. For example, you might be able to tweet a great coupon for your product and include the hash tag on your business card.
  • Offer Gifts: When people have a physical reminder of your business, they might be more likely to use your services. Offer small free items like key chains, tee shirts, or flash drives in order to spread the word about your company.
  • Staff Correctly: Expos give your business a great opportunity to show off. Don't waste it by sending the wrong people to manage your booth. Staff your area with high-energy, proactive employees who will make the most of the experience.

If you spend the money to create a beautiful and interesting space, you might be able to recoup your costs with new business opportunities.

By thinking carefully about your trade show appearance, you can take advantage of all of the things that expos have to offer.