If you have never attended a trade show for your particular industry then you could be missing out on meeting valuable contacts and making some very useful connections. Trade shows are not just about people selling their latest new products, they are also about networking, and this is something which is hugely important when you are in business. What ever industry you operate in, there will be a trade show of some kind that you could attend. In more niche markets, the show may not be a huge event at the O2 in London, however, each weak people get together up and down the country to discuss their particular line of work.
Before deciding to exhibit at a trade show, it is a good idea to attend the year before in order to get a feel of how things are down there. If you do pay to have a stand to exhibit your business, it will not be cheap, and you need to ensure that you will be getting what you want out of the show. These events are great places to put your business in front of an influential audience, but if you don not get a return on your investment, it does not make good business sense.
The main thing to do while you are exhibiting is to make sure that you get as many contact details as you can, so that you can follow up on them all after the show is over. One good way to do this is to run competitions and giveaway a prize if people put their business card in a box. The prize does not have to be anything particularly expensive, and just a small incentive will encourage people to leave their details with you.
Another food way to get peoples attention is to give away small freebies such as pens, mugs, stationary and bags. People are always looking for bags to store things in at these events and if you have one with your logo written all over it, you can make sure that you brand is reaching a lot of different eyes.
Another good tip for these events is not to rush off as soon as they are finished. Often people stay behind afterwards and have a few drinks in the bar, and you might find that most of the business deals and networking is done in these more comfortable and relaxed surroundings. Do make sure that you don’t have too much to drink though, as you may end up wishing that you had never bothered.