Attending trade show brings a lot of benefit to your business and makes you gain a new experience as a seller. Discover the ultimate beginner’s guide when attending a trade show.
Sometimes finding the right products for your business and meeting the right people to connect with, buy from and learn from is not so simple. For this reason, we believe that you, as an online entrepreneur, should explore visiting one or more trade shows. This can help open new doors and allow you to get new ideas for increasing your sales as you interact with other sellers.
As you plan to attend your first trade show, we want to provide you with some basic tips to help you prepare for your experience. As some trade shows have pricey registration fees, it’s essential to research shows that are relevant to your business to get more bang for your buck.
1. Research the event/trade show that you are attending
You should never visit a trade show that you do not know about. Research the exhibitors that are listed to see which catch your interest and where trade show booths are they located at. Know the show hours, the floor plan and if you can schedule appointments with exhibitors prior to arriving at the show. Also, it is valuable to understand how many people attend the show, how many exhibitors will be coming, how many years the show has been happening – all of these factors will help you pick and choose the most prime trade shows to visit.
2. If possible, pre-register
Almost every trade show requires that you have a badge to enter. Instead of standing in long registration lines, you may be able to pre-register as an attendee on the online trade show directory. This will avoid any confusion and save you time on the day(s) of the show.
3. Learn from the exhibitors
Those exhibitors present at the trade show is looking for one purpose only—to find and gain customers who are going to be interested in their product. There might also be some exhibitors willing to advertise products and tools that can help you improve your Amazon business—some third party seller tools like Sellermobile, Sellerlabs, Sellics and many more.
4. Check your product inventory
One of the reasons to attend a trade show is to look for the latest and most interesting products that you can market to your customers. Hence, it may be beneficial to check your product inventory prior to attending a show. You may be placing orders with exhibitors at the show, and it’s important for you to know what you have, what you need and what else you have the ability to buy.
5. Get a map of the show floor
Walking a show floor can get extremely tiring. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes and plan your walking path, based on what exhibitors you wish to visit, so you are not scattered around the whole show floor. If the show is multiple days, you can tackle the floor in portions and visit exhibitors in a more orderly fashion – saving both time and foot pain.
6. Look for a place to stay
If you are going to a trade show outside where you live, you will probably need a hotel. Some shows last for a few days and may require longer accommodations. If you reserve earlier, you can secure better hotel rates and better proximity to the show site.
7. Secure your budget
You need to allocate a budget for attending trade shows. The budget should be planned so it includes registration fees, hotel reservations, food expenses, transportation costs and any other cost for marketing/print
8. Create a checklist
Make a list of goals that you want to achieve while attending a trade show. Planning will lead to a more productive visit and you will be able to be more efficient with the time you have at hand.
9. Pen, notebook and business cards
Last but not the least, do not forget these three things. The more vendors you visit, the more confused you may become. It will get harder and harder to remember who you met, what was discussed, what products you liked and what to do or say when following up. This is where a pen and paper come in handy. Take notes – so you don’t forget! You can always use your phone, but pen and paper are always good to have. Also, carry business cards. In this way, you are building contacts at the show and ensuring that the exhibitor has a way to reach out to you as well.
By using some of these simple tips, you will have a better experience at a trade show. Who knows, maybe your visit will push you to invest in your own booth and exhibit on trade shows near you the following year!