The new rules for participating in trade fairs
Exhibiting your products at a trade show can be a great way to build relationships for your small business. It can help you build your brand and drive sales, through the meaningful exposure to opportunities from highly engaged customers and industry leaders. Whether you’re considering setting up a tent, which we highly recommend, or attending, you’ll reap the benefits of trade shows, including networking, media exposure, and face-to-face interaction.
Modern trade fairs are no different from previous trade fairs. Before the Covid 19 pandemic, trade shows were important events for many companies. After the pandemic, there was a massive change in how companies approach events and trade shows. There’s no doubt that adopting a new way of doing things can be frustrating. But with such change comes exciting opportunities, as explained below.
New rules, new ways
After the pandemic, everything went virtual and raised questions about the state and future of in-person trade shows. Trade shows have benefited businesses, serving as the backbone for product presentation and networking. So when the Covid-19 pandemic introduced restrictions for in-person events, trade shows were impacted financially only by cancellations. In March 2020, the industry had already registered a loss of nearly $22 billion.
The cancellation of 2020’s in-person events has caused attendees and business owners to rethink trade show budgets and the best way to host trade shows. As more and more in-person events return, virtual events are here to stay. So while things could have gone virtual, things could have remained hybrid. So it’s fair to say that the new ways to participate in trade shows are a mix of in-person and virtual elements and should continue to gain traction as the days go by.
Virtual events are beneficial when many attendees can’t make it to an in-person event and save you the cost of booking flights, finding accommodations, and transportation. A successful hybrid event requires the same elements as an in-person trade show paired with a great streaming provider.
Even after the pandemic, the safety rules of the event venue apply. If you are setting up a booth at the in-person trade show, provide adequate ventilation and clean your space frequently. Put measures in place to avoid overcrowding, encourage your visitors to follow health protocols and keep your employees informed of all safety measures.
To participate or not to participate
Some of the questions that may make you wonder whether or not you should attend a trade show are: Is it worth it? Will I get instant sales? Now that you understand how beneficial trade shows can be for your business, the verdict is in to attend.
Your salon experience should be fun, so choose a salon that matches your product line and start planning as soon as possible. Trade shows offer new businesses, present networking opportunities, increase brand awareness and give you the opportunity to learn more about the industry in which you operate.
Marketing at a trade show can be a task. From planning to following up with potential customers can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. But to make it easier for you to reap more benefits, develop a plan to give yourself a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Identify communication channels to announce your presence at an upcoming trade show.
Announce your presence by distributing handouts to confirmed attendees on your website through emails, newsletters, blogs and social media. Attract your audience further with prizes, sweepstakes and online contests to entice them to visit your booth. You can also do a workshop or Q&A session to increase your brand visibility throughout the event.
Find ways to make visitors remember you beyond the trade show by giving customers something to remember you by. You can give your visitors a pen, notebook or promotional material with your contacts. Make sure your booth stands out and attracts potential customers by creating an exciting atmosphere and energy they can’t resist. Create a visually appealing stand and a design that arouses curiosity.
Have the right people on the ground
The last thing you need at a trade show is to invest all your time and money in planning only to end up with the wrong people on the ground. It is not enough to rely on expertise. Personality is just as important.
Trade shows need charismatic and outgoing marketers who know how to keep the booth lively and attract more people. Carefully review your representative in advance, identify them in meetings and during preparatory work to ensure that you are reading from the same page and have the same objectives.