Preparing your trade fair participation in 8 simple steps
Name a decision maker
It is simply impossible to do everything yourself! Focus on coordinating the processes and name a decision maker who has the competence and authority to do the right thing. Build a committee consisting of experts from sales and marketing; hold a round table to encourage and enforce moderated exchange of knowledge and experience. Clarifying requirements, wants and feasibility raises efficiency and lowers costs.
Define your target group
Surveying your existing customers allows you to categorize them. Not only company size, nationality and field of expertise, but also age and gender of your point of contact allow to deduce a matrix of your existing target group. But not only this, it also allows you to define the characteristics of possible leads you want to acquire for the future of your company. Only he who knows his target group can position his offers in the perfect light.
Formulate your participation targets
Deciding for a trade fair participation is the decision for a means of communication. It is critical to assess both the need and the argumentation for a participation for every single show that is planned. Quantify and qualify participation targets and define the means of controlling and measuring your success in a documented manner. Reduce to the maximum, when presenting yourself. Keep the focus on your core competencies and get rid of any pitchman attitude.
Build your budget
Trade fair participations, independent of success and impact, are comparatively cost intensive. This makes it crucial to plan your investment carefully and to weigh your cost positions by individual contribution margin. Not only the price of the floor space, logistics and accommodation, but also planning, conception and accompanying actions have to be considered. Include the costs of the participation in your mid- and long-term strategy of your company and make them measurable in order to assess success and benefits.
Select your trade fair
Positioning your products and services precisely, is the central driver of success. Even before selecting a floor space, you should reconsider your participation in this very event. Markets are moving entities and trade fairs gain and lose significance. Maybe your product, though similar to the competition, is better positioned on another trade show. Survey the competition, analyze the market and whatever you plan to do, do it as early as possible.
Plan your marketing approach
Linking the event on your company website, mailing your existing customers and an entry in the show´s catalogue are doubtlessly essential tools of trade fair marketing. Everything beyond that has to contribute to your overall goals for this certain participation. Never forget, that valuable information can be won in the process, which helps further defining your targets and the best possible approach to gain new leads and customers.
Train your personnel
It cannot be emphasized enough, how critical well trained experts and service personnel are, who are familiar with the goals and targets of your trade fair participation as well as with your overall marketing-campaign. Brief your staff in written form, define points of contact and the distribution of their contact information. Set documentation standards for customer pitches and define rules of conduct for the appearance of and at the stand as well as how to deal with potential customers. A staff that works as a team raises trust for your company and products.
Only when proper evaluation of your documentation is possible, the true success of your trade fair participation becomes measurable. Give your team enough time for a thorough post processing of the fair. Collect feedback and call for insights, with both employees and customers. Follow the principle of continuous effort to improve in order to work out future goals and targets. After the show is right before the next one!
Egovision wishes you a successful trade show participation!