A trade show floor can be busy, crowded and create a sense of overload. How do you decipher what exhibits are important and who you need to talk to? Before exhibiting or attending a trade show, it’s important to ask yourself what your goals are. Your goals may change from season to season, but the core reason is always the same – business development.
To get real return on your time spent here are a few common goals and objectives companies use when exhibiting and attending shows.
When designing exhibits for clients I always start with the question, “what are your trade show goals?” It’s important to know what you want and design to attract the results you are looking for. Some sample goals may be:
- Promote or launch a new brand or product
- Selling Inventory
- Establishing a defined number of prospects
- Booking a certain amount of meetings
- Doing market research
- Building a database of contacts
- Finding investors
- Building visibility with industry leaders
- Conducting market research
Once you know what your goals are, you can make sure that whatever you say, show or handout is geared to achieving your objectives. It also makes measuring the success of a show that much easier.
Walking a show can be a strategic way to build your business. Having a clear outline of goals can help you prioritize what shows are must to attend and can be a great way to stay focused on the trade show floor. Attendees can in a very short amount of time find a great deal of information and contacts that would other wise take a great deal of legwork. Some common goals are:
- Booking meetings with suppliers/distributors/companies
- Speaking with a predefined list of industry leaders
- Signing up for specific mailing lists and industry information
- Keeping current: seeing new technologies and innovations in your industry
- Researching recruiting prospects
- Social networking: connecting and building your social profile/visibility withing your existing industry network.
What kind of goals do you have when attending trade shows? How do you measure the return and success? Feel free to share.