Trade shows are a brilliant way of making valuable contacts and generating leads but they often have a pretty specific focus. The people that attend know exactly what they’re looking for and if you don’t quite fit into the bracket then you won’t do well at a trade show. If your product bridges a gap between a few different industries, or you’re trying something revolutionary, you might not necessarily fit into any existing trade shows. That doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from them like everybody else is though, you just need to put a bit more work in. Starting your own trade show is a brilliant way of making sure that you connect with the right people. Follow these simple tips to make it a success.
Is It Worth It?
You need to answer this question before you do anything. When you’re just attending an event, it won’t cost you a huge amount of money but hosting your own is a different thing altogether. It’s going to cost a lot of money and if you don’t generate enough valuable leads then it’s going to be a waste of funds. Put together a list of people that you want to come and see if you think you could get enough valuable leads out of it. If you’re struggling to find people then maybe it isn’t such a good idea. Speak with event sponsors who can help you source guests and deal with the rest of the setting up. It’ll help to ensure that your event runs smoothly and ends up being a valuable outlay rather than a waste of money.
Before you start booking venues and contacting caterers, make sure that you set a budget so your spending doesn’t get out of control. It’s important to keep it fairly low so the returns aren’t outweighed by the costs but you need to be realistic.
When you’re trying to get people in, you’ll find that it’s hard to gain traction with a new event. The best way to kickstart things and generate a bit of interest is to make sure that you’ve got good speakers. It’ll cost you more money to get big names in so you don’t need to fill every slot with somebody well-known, but the headline speakers should be notable people in the industry.
It would be such a shame if you planned a great event and then nobody showed up because they hadn’t heard about it. Make sure that you start publicizing the event months in advance. People will be coming from all over the country and they’ll have to make plans for that so if they only find out a week before the event, they aren’t likely to turn up. Use email marketing or social media and look for industry groups that you can take advantage of to get the details of your event to lots of relevant people.
Planning and hosting a great trade show can do wonders for your business, but if you get it wrong, it’ll end up being a big waste of money.