If there's one powerful growth tactic that you can use to strengthen your presence, it’s exhibiting at trade shows. Trade shows are big events that let business owners like you showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services. They are usually attended by hundreds or thousands of visitors from the same industry, making them the perfect environment to connect with your customers and get exposure to a wide range of audiences in a short period.
Participating in trade shows is more than just about getting high visibility. In fact, it has a number of advantages for your business:
You can launch and promote your products directly to your target market. This helps you generate buzz and makes you more recognisable.
You can quickly expand your database of leads and you can even close deals during the show.
You can meet prospective clients and new companies that can help your business.
You can strengthen your relationship with your current customers. Trade shows give you the opportunity to schedule meetings or one-on-one conversations to catch up with them.
If this sounds like an excellent opportunity for your business (and we'd say that it is!), read on to find out how you can get the best return on your investment and make your trade show experience successful, memorable and worthwhile.
12 ‘MUST EXHIBIT AND ATTEND’ TRADE SHOWS FOR FOOD AND BEVERAGE BUSINESSES
First things first, you need to choose the right event. Participating in trade shows can be time-consuming and expensive - especially for small startups - so it’s important that you do your research and choose the best ones for your business. When looking for trade shows to participate in, you can either speak to your customers and fellow suppliers who have already attended and exhibited or you can do your own research online. Here's a helpful starting point for you that lists all the upcoming food and beverage shows relevant to our industry.
TRADE SHOW CHECKLIST: HOW TO PREPARE FOR YOUR FIRST EXHIBITION
After choosing the right trade show that will benefit your business, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and get to work! Preparing for a successful trade show exhibition does take a bit of work. Apart from regular planning with your team, you also need to establish your goals and expectations for the event. You have to prepare your booth, your marketing materials, and your products - especially if you’re thinking of giving away samples of your goods or conducting live equipment demonstrations.
For further help, you can check out this blog. It provides a quick checklist that shows you all the things you need to do before you hit the show floor - from setting your budget to planning your booth design.
SMALL BUSINESSES’ QUICK GUIDE TO TRADE SHOW MARKETING
Preparing for an exhibition doesn’t just end once you've designed your booth and got your sample products ready. Of course, you also need to plan your marketing campaign to ensure you get the most out of your participation. Trade shows are a great opportunity to get good exposure so don’t waste it. Market your business effectively to the attendees by building buzz before the show kicks off, think about getting media exposure, and of course be present online during the event.
We've got a whole host of powerful tips (and gimmicks) that are sure to give you amazing results.
SIX SECRETS TO CAPTURING LEADS AT TRADE SHOWS
The best thing about trade shows is they can be a gold mine for collecting profiles and contact information. With thousands of visitors attending, you’re guaranteed to obtain good quality leads and expand your potential customer database in an instant. Bear in mind that each attendee is a lead who can be turned into a loyal customer over time. The key here is to establish your goals and come up with a strong lead generation plan.
We can help you do just that - check out this blog post to get the most effective methods for building a database of good quality leads.
HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE AT A TRADE SHOW
You don’t have to settle for basic booth designs. If you want to stand out from the crowd and get the best bang for your buck, using technology on the trade show floor is the answer. Tricks like incorporating interactive and experiential display options to showcase your products and using mobile apps to capture data can really help you foster memorable engagement and make the most of your time at the event.
To help get you started here a couple of mind-blowing tech ideas and solutions that can give your marketing efforts a boost.
Exhibiting at trade shows to get instant industry credibility is definitely a highly attractive growth strategy and it’s a really effective way to turn your food and beverage business from a simple startup into a well-recognised brand. We hope that this comprehensive guide will be able to help you make your trade show participation a worthwhile and successful investment.
More business advice like this when you visit our blog!
About the author: Avlya Jacob is a content writer at Ordermentum. When not working, she enjoys writing online novels and spending time with her husband.