Category Archives: Trade Shows

Reserve your table Now!

When it comes to trade shows, there are a lot of people that you are competing with in order to get a table. For that reason, it’s important to reserve and pay for your table as soon as possible. But if they event is a few months in the future, you may be leery just in case something else comes up and you cannot attending. If this sounds like you, here are a few suggestions.

English: Table with marzipan sweets made by 'P...

English: Table with marzipan sweets made by (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deadline                       

The first thing you may want to ask the coordinator is if there is a deadline for the first person to book the table. For instance, let’s say the event isn’t for 3 months; you may be able to hold the table until a month before the event without paying.   If this is the case, ask if you will be contacted if someone else wants to book so that you can get your payment in.

Refunds/Sell Table

Quite often, events will require you to pay for your table at whatever time you book it no matter how far out the event is. If it turns out you cannot attend, you can ask for a refund (but many places will not refund you unless they can fill your table easily) or you can see if a teammate wants it. If a teammate wants it, let the coordinator know that someone else will be coming in your place and that they are a member on your team. You can charge your teammate or just cover the cost yourself.

Waiting List

Sometimes the coordinator is willing to create a waiting list in case the first person has to cancel. This may also be because the payment from the first person is in the mail and has not arrived. If they put you on a waiting list, you can ask if the first person has paid or not. It’s possible that someone just requested the table last week and their payment is in transit so that person has the first dibs on the table. Do not push the coordinator too hard for information as they may decide just not to deal with you and not give you the table.

Getting a Table at a Trade Show

Have you ever received an invitation to a trade show months in advance and weren’t sure when to pay? It can be a tricky situation but there are a few tips I can offer you to navigate this situation and make sure that you get the spot.

IBM @ CeBIT 2010, Hanover, Germany

IBM @ CeBIT 2010, Hanover, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Early Deadline

See if there is an early deadline for a table.   It could be that they are offering the tables to those who had the table first. Quite often, if someone organizes a second trade show, they will contact those vendors that attended the prior event first. If this is the case, they will likely give you a deadline to get your funds in or the table will be up for grabs.

First One Who Sends Money

Many times you will see that an event has something indicating that the first person to pay gets the table.   Start by inquiring to find out if your company is already represented. If not, ask if you can reserve the table and advise them that you will be sending payment and how you will be sending it.   Make sure to follow through and actually do it! If you cannot for whatever reason, talk to the organizer and see what arrangements can be made.   Depending on when the event actually is will determine the flexibility of the organizer. Tables that cannot be paid for within a reasonable time frame or do not have the payment show up will be up for grabs.   For me, I give them two weeks.

Deadline

Again, there is typically a deadline for getting your funds in. This is for a variety of reasons but one is so that they know your company is represented. Some events can be difficult to get into or they need numbers by a certain date to make sure that they have appropriate resources to accommodate everyone.

Why Mixing Up Personality Types at Trade Shows Can Help Sales

At trade shows, your team members are the embodiment of your company. Although your sales representatives are there to inform attendees about a product or service, the manner in which they do so will speak volumes about your company’s ethos, or guiding principles. Be sure to send your best people to staff your Trade Show Exhibits. Their knowledge of the business and their interactions with potential clients will do more to attract and repel sales than any infographic or promotional item ever could.

English: 2007 AutoTronics Taipei: Car Electron...

English: 2007 AutoTronics Taipei: Car Electronics Area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to a 2013 Nielsen study, approximately half of all people surveyed said that they would be willing to spend more money on a product if they believed the company would use the extra money to improve society in some way. This study says a lot about the relationship between ethics and consumerism – people like to believe that they’re spending their money at ethical companies who are making the world a better place. It’s why McDonalds funds the Ronald McDonald house while being accused of not paying employees a living wage, and why Nike started the Nike Foundation after many years of sweat shops allegations. In both of these cases, companies are taking control of their ethos in the public eye. Fortunately, you don’t need to start a charity in order to capitalize on this mindset.

At trade shows, it is important to promote the idea that your company has both the best product and the best people. In order to do so, your representatives should be knowledgeable, personable, and diverse. Everyone is unique, and we all respond to situations and people differently. What some people may consider an enthusiastic and informative discussion with a vendor, others may perceive as a pushy sales pitch. Additionally, some individuals are more receptive to being approached by sales representatives than others. According to a recent study released by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, more than 50% of men are comfortable talking with vendors they do and do not know, compared to 40% of women.

Sending a diverse range of personalities to represent your company at trade shows appeals your business to a larger audience, which will in turn increase sales. A booth manned by people who look and act the same subconsciously signals to the customer that product or service is only for people of a certain appearance and disposition. Avoid isolating customers and send the message that your business is for everyone. In order to appeal to the largest possible audience, your sales representatives should be as diverse and unique as your market.

Trade shows are great opportunities to increase brand awareness, interact with potential clients, and make direct sales. Make the most out of your trade show experience by diversifying your representatives’ personalities and appealing yourself to the largest possible audience.

Trade Show Tips as a Guest

Trade shows can be a lot of fun.  You get to see a lot of companies and products that you may not have heard of before.  You may be able to find product that was discontinued but that the rep still had in their stock or you may get to try new products that you haven’t experienced before.  Regardless, there are a few tips to help you get the most of your trade show experience.

2008 Display Taiwan.

2008 Display Taiwan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Labels – If you have access to a printer, pre-make labels with your name, phone number and email address to use to enter draws.  It saves you time as you do not have to write it all out and it assists the vendor as the information is actually legible.  You would hate to miss out on a prize because they couldn’t read your writing, right?

Cash – I am always surprised how many people come to trade shows without any cash.  Maybe this is because they want to guarantee they do not purchase anything?   Vendors may not be willing to accept cheques or credit cards at events for a variety of reasons – they may not be able to process them, they do not know you and worry about them bouncing or because you already have the product and there is no recourse if payment does not clear.

Shopping Bag – Bring a bag with you to the event.  You may end up with catalogues or other various materials that you take home not to mention you may end up making a purchase.  Many vendors do not seem to carry bags with them and you can use a re-usable canvas bag instead of a plastic bag.

Patience – Trade shows are not typically events to go to if you only have five minutes.  All you can do in that amount of time is come in and see who is there.  If you want to check out any of the booths, you will need time to stop there, talk to the vendor and possibly sniff, sample, try on or examine the product.  If you book a party, you will need to pick a date if possible at the event.

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Should You Sell at a Trade Show?

Let us assume that your company allows you to sell product at a trade show.  Should you actually do this or should you focus on showing what your company has to offer and get bookings and recruits instead?

Berry Vendor

Berry Vendor (Photo credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market)

I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is what you are trying to do with your business.    Are you comfortable and happy with the amount of bookings you have and just want to get rid of excess inventory?  Do you want to increase your monthly sales?  Do you want to grow your team bigger?   All of the answers to these can help to decide what to do.

Selling Inventory

Obviously if you are happy with your sales levels and just want to get rid of excess inventory, then you should sell product.  You can always take orders and work on getting bookings while you are there.  You can put up signs and notices about benefits of hosting a party and why you should join the company.

Increase Bookings

If you want to increase bookings, then you should set up your table in that method.  Bring product to show so people can see what you offer but focus on the benefits of hosting.  You could set up an area of the table that shows people what they would get in actual product when they have a party.  You can tell someone they get $40 which doesn’t mean much but if you show them what $40 gets them, it has more impact.  Put up a sign saying “Get all this for $10 by hosting a party!” and then include the breakdown of hostess credit and half off items.

Find Recruits

Just like trying to get bookings, you need to show people the benefits of becoming a consultant with your company.  Set up an area to show people what they get with their kit.  If they can earn it free, let them know what it takes and how to accomplish it.  Explain to them what they can earn.  You may want to put signs that say “Want a new car?  You can earn a car payment with just X amount of parties a week” or something similar.  It needs to catch their attention and draw them in.  Be prepared to answer questions about your own experiences.

I find that you concentrate and present yourself differently when you are simply selling product versus trying to get bookings and find recruits.  This is why it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish at a trade show.

 

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Choosing The Right Exhibition Stand

English: Corner exhibition stand at the Götebo...

English: Corner exhibition stand at the Göteborg Book Fair 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are attending a trade show you will need to make your booth stand out and one of the ways to do this is through exhibition stands. These are normally lightweight so they can be transported easily and are used to promote your product and services. There are several different kinds of stands available today and each of them has its own merits. The one you choose will depend upon your own specific needs. To help you decide, here are some of the stands on offer:

  • Twist Display Stand: These are a kind of pull-up banner which can be displayed on portable stands and printed with high quality graphics for maximum impact. They are perfect for trade shows and exhibitions because they create seamless back walls for a really professional look. Because they allow you to join many different units together in a seamless display, they are great if you have a lot of space to fill. They are also versatile because their tensioning system allows the alignment to be adjusted so they can sit against both smooth and uneven surfaces. They are also light and easy to transport from place to place.
  • Pop-Up Stands: These continue to be highly popular for companies attending exhibitions. This is mainly because they are easy to transport and erect, but once taken down don’t take up too much room in storage. There are different varieties of these – they can, for example, be made from cardboard and fabric – but all are an impressive back-drop to any trade show booth if printed with good quality graphics and a strong design. For extra versatility, some can have Velcro-friendly front panels so that posters can be changed.
  • Poster Display Stands: These are freestanding display stands which can usually come in cable, rod or modular versions. The great thing about these is that they can come with single or mixed pocket arrangements so you can interchange posters depending on the exhibition you are attending. They can also come in a wide variety of sizes depending on your needs and can be placed side-by-side or perpendicular to each other. If you want something versatile and low-cost, these are a safe bet.
  • Folding Display Stands: Folding display stands and exhibition boards are great for companies operating on a strict budget. They are low-cost, lightweight and because they are folded they don’t take up much space in transit. Generally made from PVC, they are durable and both pin- and Velcro-friendly so that posters can be interchanged as often as required.
  • POS Stands: Point-of-sale or info stands are more specialised items which are used for both retail environments or exhibitions. They will normally consist of a poster board on top and some smaller leaflet displays below. If you have a particular new product you want to promote then they are ideal because you can draw visitors’ attention with a high-impact poster and then they can take away more detailed information in the leaflets placed below. However, if your booth is simply to provide a more generalised overview of your company then you would be better off with one of the larger stands mentioned above.

When you’ve worked out which kind of exhibition stand best fits your needs, the next thing to do is find a supplier. It’s worth shopping around to see which companies offer the best deals – always remembering that you have to pay for quality. It’s important, for example, that you check how the graphics will be added to your stand to ensure that the solutions used will not only look good but will also be durable so you can use the stands over and over again.

It’s a good idea to get a recommendation for a stand supplier from somebody who has used them many times and understands what is important. When you’ve found a few companies you think might be able to offer what you want then go and visit each one in turn to discuss your requirements. This is a good opportunity to ask to see examples of their work so you can get an idea of what they might be able to do for you. It’s probably best, if you can, to find a local supplier so you can visit them face-to-face and contact them easily if there is a problem with any of the products they have supplied to you.

Author Profile

Chris Jenkinson is a UK marketing consultant writing for RAL Display a display stands and exhibition stands company

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Best time for a home event?

As far as I am concerned, the best time to do these events is when you have a new catalogue and new product.  This allows you to create excitement around the event by saying things such as be the first to experience our new X, it is awesome!

It also allows your customers a reason to come out – there are new things to see.  The goal is that they will come see the new X, want it, and book a party to get it free or discounted.  You may also get someone who comes out and loves everything you have, and wants it all but cannot afford it all.  You could get a new recruit.

When you do these kinds of events, they are not always all about sales, but you can offer incentives to get the sales if you want.  I see these are more of a chance to let people see what you have and get bookings from it.

The direct sales trade show I am at is very quiet. What should I do?

One of the first things you should do at a direct sales trade show is to visit the other vendors.  Say hi, tell them what company you are with and see where it goes from there.  If you are new to trade shows, ask them how they feel this one is going, ask if they have any tips or ideas that might help you out, and if you are interested in their product, ask them about it.  Quite often the direct sales vendors end up buying from each other while at the event.

Advertise – If you have a smart phone or laptop with you and you can access the Internet, go shout it out to everyone that there is a trade show going on.  Make sure you post the address and how late it is going on.  Mention that there are draws or any other goodies that are going on that might entice people to come out.  Encourage the other vendors to do the same.  Call people that you think would be interested or those had expressed interest in attending the direct sales trade show and ask them where they are.

Say Hi – When people do come in, make sure to say hi and make eye contact with them.  This tends to make them stop and say hi, and possibly check out your products.  If you are doing a draw, point it out to them and invite them to enter.  Do not forget to invite the other vendors to enter as well.

Make the location noticeable – Another suggestion to get your direct sales trade show noticed is to put some balloons out in front of the location as well as some signage indicating what is going on.  If people do not know that you are there, they cannot come in.

What else would you recommend to someone in this position?

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Direct Sales Trade Shows

Trade shows can be a big part of your business and as a result it is important to know about them.  One of the biggest things to know when heading to a trade show is what you hope to accomplish for your direct sales business.  For some people, they are there just to get contacts and customers.  Others hope for bookings and there are others who are looking for teammates.   Knowing your goals in advance is helpful for determining how to approach the event.   

Be aware that some companies do restrict what you are able to do.  I know of a few companies that do not let the consultants sell off their table but they can take orders.  If this is the case, you likely will want to aim for bookings.

Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show
4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show
Having a Successful Direct Sales Event

How to Setup Your Table

If you are not able to get out for trade shows, you can find them online.  They can definitely be harder to do as you do not have the captive audience that you would have in person.  You also need to either type your presentation in advance or be a fast typer as you typically have limited time.  That said, here is some advice if you happen to find these types of events.

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2
Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 3

 

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The Internet Hasn’t Killed Trade Shows – A Guest Post

The internet has become one of the biggest forces to help businesses generate sales. As a result, many businesses have stopped using many of their other marketing mediums. Trade shows have traditionally been one of the most common ways for businesses to market their products and services. As a small business owner, you may find that trade shows can still be a powerful means to find new customers.

Taipei Telecom 2006 closed without a vision be...

Taipei Telecom 2006 closed without a vision because the quality and purpose of the show were uncertained. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been an Internet marketing professional for several years now. Many people I have met praise my field by telling me that it is replacing all other forms of marketing. That’s flattering to hear, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The internet is certainly a powerful way to reach customers, but it is has a number of limitations you need to be wary of. Don’t fully neglect your other marketing mediums, either.

Many businesses still use trade shows. They find they are still effective marketing tools, but they have noticed they don’t get quite as much benefit from them. You may want to leverage social media and other internet technologies to get more of a benefit from your trade show.

Why Trade Shows Still Work

Sometimes you need a face-to-face connection with your users. There are two reasons why personal networking opportunities are often necessary:

  • Many demographics don’t like to spend time online. If you are trying to reach older people or more active people who want to spend time outside, you may find that a personal networking connection will be more valuable.
  • Many people are nervous to buy a product from someone over the internet.

Many professions still spend about 80 percent of their energy on building personal face-to-face networking connections. Trade shows are still a powerful means to reach a rich number of people in your target market.

Attending a trade show gives you the opportunity to connect with people who will ultimately decide whether or not to buy your product. You have enough face time to earn their attention and convince them that your product can provide them a real value. Although you can reach more people on the Internet, you generally will only have a few seconds to hold their attention.

You can also provide physical live demonstrations to your prospective buyers. People can make more informed buying decisions if they see the product in action. This gives you the opportunity to showcase the qualities of your product and differentiate yourself from the dozens of companies offering a different variation.

According to a report from the National Retail Federation, trade shows remain a powerful tool to help draw new customers. One expert said that even if there was a decline in participation at the last trade show they attended, the participants were still highly inspired by the events.

You can still benefit from holding a booth at a trade show. You might find that you won’t generate as much business as you would have in previous years. At the same time, you can take advantage of the fact that many of your competitors have given up on trade shows as a means of getting business.

You may also want to use trade shows to draw new fans to your social networking sites and vice versa. Rather than using them as separate entities, many people have found that they get the most by combining the two marketing mediums.

 

Kalen Smith is a business and marketing writer. He is currently writing tips on using the best trade show giveaways to drive more business.