Make the Most of Market: Exhibitor Tips
Market is a great avenue to meet new customers and renew ties with existing accounts. A finely tuned market strategy can be an effective sales and marketing vehicle and succeeds in delivering your products to a qualified audience in the best possible light.
Given the amount of money and time invested, what can you do to prepare for a productive market experience? Here are a few tips:
1. Before the show, make sure to update catalogs and line sheets. Create look books that buyers can browse at market and save for future orders. Make sure that all materials list your wholesale costs, order minimums and contact information.
2. Conduct buyer outreach before market. Send emails and update social media about market plans. Don’t forget to list your booth number on all correspondence so buyers know where to find you on crowded market floors.
3. Decide which products or lines are going to be the primary focus of the show. While catalogs can give a sneak peek at your company’s entire range, it’s a good idea to limit your sales focus to just a few products or a couple of new launches. This facilitates better training for sales reps and is less overwhelming for attendees as well.
4. Entice attendees with show specials. Everyone loves a sale! Offer small takeaways at the booth and make sure each has your company name and contact information clearly printed. Check with tradeshow organizers to find out how these discounts are marketed to attendees. For example, Las Vegas Market promotes exhibitors’ show specials (such as discounts or free shipping for at market orders) online before the show, and in a hand-out onsite at Market -- great free publicity for participating companies! Offer raffles in exchange for valuable attendee information. Quick tip: While raffles can be a popular way to attract crowds, make sure they don’t become a distraction and that you have a plan to avoid booth overcrowding.
5. Design your booth with bold graphics and clean lines so it stands out from the rest. You have just a few seconds to capture busy buyers’ attention, so invest in visual merchandising to make your booth pop. Pay attention to practical matters: make sure the booth has enough storage space for brochures, paperwork and tech gear.
6. Ensure adequately trained staff is on hand at all times. Anticipate peak volumes so staffing can be planned accordingly. Reach out to your loyal retailers and encourage advance booking of appointments so staffing needs can be fine-tuned. Make sure all staff members know the goals for market. Remind them to stay engaged and schedule time for breaks. Booth attendants checking their phones are not making eye contact with potential buyers and convey the impression that they are bored — a big no-no.
7. Test all tech gear to make sure everything’s working as it should. Check Wi-Fi connections and consider investing in Wi-Fi boosters or extenders for smoother sailing. Download apps that allow easy smartphone scanning of attendee registration badges. These apps can transcribe and store badge data to give you valuable customer information.
8. Get busy with social media. Share market experiences live from the show floor on Instagram and Facebook or whichever outlets garner the most following for your business. You can also broadcast daily show specials through these platforms and offer special codes customized for your social media followers.
9. Attend after-show events so you can expand your professional network. You never know where you might find your next sale or make your next valuable contact.
10. Follow up after market. Say thank you and reach out to attendees post-show so they are reminded about who you are and what they liked about your products in the first place. While at market, make sure to write down quick notes about especially interested leads so you can include specifics in your follow-up notes.
Bonus tip: During the last few hours of market, instead of off-loading product at steep discounts, consider offering them for free to hot prospects. Even the smallest tokens of appreciation can buy you a lot of brownie points.
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