How to win business at trade shows and events

When it comes to winning new business and getting the attention of prospective clients and customers, attending industry trade shows and events as an exhibitor is a tried and tested method that many companies have used with great success. Whilst it’s very possible to use this tactic to make revolutionary changes to the fortunes of your business, it’s not enough to just turn up and hope for the best. You need to have some techniques up your sleeve to ensure you really get the most out of your investment in terms of both time and money. In this guide, we share top tips for winning new business at your upcoming trade shows and events.

Pick the events where your prospects will be in attendance

Okay, so it may seem glaringly obvious that you need to choose an event where your prospects will actually be, but it can be all to easy to make some bad decisions in this respect when you’re just getting started with marketing your business in this way. Event organisers can be really persuasive, and before you know it, you’ve decided to take them up on a ‘special deal’ that isn’t necessarily going to benefit your business. Think about the audience that various events are likely to attract, and consider how many people you’ll get in front of who might actually buy from you.

Have a talking point at your stand to initiate conversations

Once you’ve chosen the best trade show or event for your business, you’ll need a way to stand out from the crowd. You’ll be up against other companies and if you want to get the most out of the opportunity, it pays to consider how you’ll start up conversations with your prospects and get them interested in what you have to say. The options are pretty much endless – you could give away promotional wristbands or branded lanyards, you could have a selection of sweet treats displayed on your stall, or you could do something else entirely. Don’t be scared to get creative.

Collect email addresses from attendees so you can continue to market to them

If you’re selling B2B services or items with a high price tag, you’re probably not going to make lots of sales at the actual event. Your strategy should be to introduce your business, share a little about what you have to offer, and then have a plan in place so you can continue to nurture the relationships that you’ve started, and ultimately, convert them into paying business. One of the most effective ways to do this is to collect their email addresses and embark on a great email marketing campaign. It’s cost effective, and it can have phenomenal results. Obviously, you’ll need to give your prospects a reason to leave their details with you. You might decide to offer a free e-book that you have created that will add value for your prospects and help them to solve a problem that they often experience, or you could offer entry to a competition to win something like a bottle of champagne, or one of your very own high-end products.

Winning business at trade shows and events isn’t always as easy as many people will have you believe, but with the right advice and forward planning, it can be something that you can use to really maximise your impact ramp up your revenue. Before you even consider turning up at the next much-anticipated industry event, make sure that you’ve given some careful consideration to each of the points outlined above.