Tag 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.

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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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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Unique Ways to Save on Direct Sales Supplies for Trade Shows

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Previously I have talked about buying supplies that don’t cost a lot of money for your business.  Things like business cards, brochures, and other items.  But chances are you need other items for your business that you may have to get elsewhere.  Here are some ideas to help you save on those items.

Table Coverings – I recently discovered this one and I can’t believe it took me so long!  If you have a thrift store where you live, check to see if they have an area with sheets and other home items.  I picked up a huge black sheet for 4 dollars and a pretty white lacy runner for 2 bucks.  I was previously using sheets but they didn’t look as nice as this one does.  A quick wash and I’m ready to go.

Risers – Chances are, if you look around your house you can find a lot of items that you can use for risers in your display.  Recently I changed how I was doing things and started to highlight our seasonal products in a different way.  I took one of the boxes that I hauled my product in, flipped it over, and covered it with another table covering I had.  This distinguished it from the rest of my table, and kept my area looking neater as I didn’t have this big random box.  If you do this, just make sure you don’t have anything you may need in that box.  You can also use other smaller boxes at various points on your table with the same effect.

Candy – Depending on what you are selling, you can use candy to help decorate your table.  Around valentines, heart shaped candies can be cute, as you move towards Christmas you can purchase chocolate balls.  This is multipurpose as you have a snack while at events, and you can invite people to your booth, take a candy, and browse.  And of course, you get the tax deduction!  If you use this method, make sure you buy wrapped candy.

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Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show

Direct sales trade shows can be scary when you are first starting out.  If at all possible, it is a good idea to go with your upline and see what they do before you strike out on your own.  If that is not possible, here are a few ideas to help you out.

Set up a Sample Display – If you have a table at home that might be similar to the one at the event, set up your display on it.  See what you think and where you could improve.  Take a picture and send it to your upline or ask them to take a picture of their set up and send it to you.  It might be a good idea to do both of these to be even more effective.

Pack in Advance – If you leave packing until half an hour before you need to leave, you are likely to forget some very important things.  Case in point, one of my last direct sales trade shows, I forgot to print and prep my recruit packages!  Oops!  I also recommend loading your car the night before if it is possible as mornings can be rushed.

Table Cloth – Bring a covering for your table.  The first trade show I did, I knew nothing about this and I put in an emergency call to someone I knew to bring me one.  You can buy logo’d ones from your company or you can buy them from a variety of places.  Pieces of fabric or sheets can work well.

Levels – When creating your display, create different levels.  This helps to attract the eye to different areas and highlight certain times.  I like to use the boxes that my products come in and cover them up with a sheet and then set the product up on top. This keeps the amount of things I have to haul down.

Make a List – I rely on lists more and more all the time.  For this reason, I actually have a list of everything I want to take with me to check when I am packing.  I don’t refer to it as often as I would like, but if I do remember, I know I will be better prepared.

Labels – If you use reorder labels or any other type of labels, pack extra.  You never know when you will discover something on your table does not have your information on it.  I also take extra with me as then I can label catalogues if I discover one got missed or if I have other paper that should have a label on it.  That said; do not forget your business cards!

Inventory or Not – Keep in mind that some companies do not allow their consultants to sell off their table.  But beyond that, inventory can be a hot topic when it comes to direct sales trade shows.  Most people attend in order to get more bookings or recruits.  If this is your goal as well, chances are you will take minimal inventory as an incentive to get bookings but you will want to still take items so people can see them.  Talk to your upline or others in your company if you are not sure.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun.  It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know other consultants which may come in handy later on.  I also find out about a lot of events through these events.

 

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Hosting Your Own Vendor Event

I will tell you right off the bat that organizing your own event can be time consuming, so make sure that you have some time to dedicate to it.

The first thing you need to decide is if you want to do something small or something bigger.   If this is your first one, and if you do not know too many vendors, you may prefer to do something in your own or in the backroom at a restaurant.  Renting halls or rooms in hotels can be expensive and depending on how many vendors you have and what you want to charge others.

If you need to locate vendors, this can take a bit of time.  Make sure you know the capacity of the location you are going to be using and then get advertising the event to find vendors.  Know the price of the table, the hours and if there are any conditions before you start looking for vendors.  Always ask for the money up front as this is a better guarantee that people will show up.  I attended one vendor event where half the vendors didn’t show up and she had not collected in advance.

Get advertising your event.  This is the biggest and most time consuming event.  Ask all your vendors to invite their entire mailing list.  Put the event up on Facebook and then invite everyone you can as well as the vendors so they can use this to invite their people.  Put ads up on free classifieds and anywhere else you can find.  If you are charging money, you may want to put an ad in the newspaper.