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How To Prepare For A Trade Show

Kelly Danahy, CompanyCam

12 September 2017

Trade shows, conferences, conventions — whatever you want to call them — are important for all businesses that want to expand in their market. Going to your first trade show as a vendor can be pretty intimidating when considering all of the different things you want to accomplish. By setting a clear goal and doing the necessary prep work you will set your business up to be successful.

Save Some Dough

Deciding to be a exhibitor at a trade show can be very expensive. First, there are the travel expenses: plane tickets, hotel room, food, and the rental car. Then there are expenses you have to pay for at the convention center such as: space, the carpet, the wifi, the chairs, and yes … even the trash can (for real). It all adds up! You can cut some costs at a trade show with a few simple tips:

  • If you can manage standing, don’t buy the chairs.
  • Set up a “hotspot” with your smartphone instead of buying the wifi.
  • Do some research before to see if taking an uber or lyft would be cheaper than renting a car.
  • Use the community trashcan that the convention center will have.

Be Unique

As an exhibitor in a massive room full of other companies trying to get attention, you will want to make sure your booth stands out. We have all seen it before, the attendee walking down the aisle of booths avoiding eye contact. Give them a reason to look at your set up. Make sure your booth is branded clearly. Include all the swag: stickers, t-shirts, key chains, bags, etc. Find clever ways to allow your audience to interact with your product or service. Use these interactions to generate interest and allow them to see the value proposition of your product. An example we use at CompanyCam is our big iPhone. Essentially it is a massive iPhone with one of our phone screens projected on it. This not only draws curiosity of the crowd, but it also allows them to interact with our product.

Set Goals

Have good employees working the booth that know your product inside and out. This will ensure that your strategy and message are clear to your audience throughout the show. Finally, make sure you have a clear strategy to accomplish your goal before attending a conference. Whether it’s trying to get in front of more customers or trying network with other industry leaders, having a goal will help you focus your efforts. If your goal is to get new customers try to find ways to incentivize them. Educate them on your product or service and combine that with some sort of deal. Limited time discounts, free samples, giveaways, raffles, etc. are all good examples of ways you can get customers hooked at a trade show. It isn’t always easy to get people to act on your incentive, so it is important that you have a easy way to capture their information. Try to follow up with your leads shortly after you meet them. The longer you wait the longer they have to forget about you. If your goal is to network with others in your industry it is important to do your research before you decide to attend a trade show. Make sure the people you want to network with are going to the same event you are. Make it a point to stop by their booth and introduce yourself.

CompanyCam will be going to a handful of events in the near future (see the list below). We would love to chat with you. Whether you are a potential customer, partner, or just feel like messing with our giant phone. Stop by our booth, grab a t-shirt and try-us-free!


Service World Expo (Las Vegas)
 
Solar Power International (Las Vegas)
 
Best of Success (Tucson)  
 
Atlas Event (Baton Rouge)  
 
RCAT (Austin)
 
IBS (Orlando)  
 
Atlas Event (Dallas)

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