Navigating Trade Show Season 2018

trade-show

Tradeshows can be expensive and overwhelming, but they are also an excellent marketing opportunity. If you’re on the fence about participating, read on! We’re laying out the reasons trade shows could be advantageous for you, tips to make your show a success, and a list of upcoming shows where you can make your splash in the industry.

Why attend a tradeshow?

Participating in a tradeshow means multiple days in the same room as thousands of people who have the potential to grow your business: buyers, sellers, distributors, influencers, packaging experts, marketers, etc. It also provides the unique and valuable opportunity to network with other food companies, see new trends in the biz, scope out the competition and build new friendships.

How to make your show a success?

Be as prepared as possible.

Just when you think you have everything on your list, there’s something else, right? Each tradeshow comes with a learning curve and it’s good practice to get as prepared as possible ahead of time. Note: printing materials, shipping, and set-up can be more time consuming than you think. It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough time to set yourself up for success. Shipping a pallet? Make sure to throw an extra roll of shrink wrap in for its return.

Other musts on your packing list:

  • Display materials (signage, tablecloth, banners, etc.)
  • Business cards (and a pouch to collect the ones you get)
    • We recommend writing a few notes about the conversation you had on the back of the card, so it’s easy to recall who you spoke with when looking through your stack of cards after the show.
  • Samples and small giveaway items
  • Sales sheets
  • Company information
  • Comfortable shoes – Trade shows make for lots of standing at the booth or walking around the show. Plus, if you’re traveling, you might want to do some celebratory sight-seeing after the show!

Staffing

This is a balancing act. You need enough people to allow breaks and help with set-up, but you don’t want your booth to feel overcrowded. Three people manning the booth at a time is usually a good number (depending on how large your booth is). Other hands on deck can walk the show, checking out trends and competition.

Stand out

With hundreds of other vendors, this can be a tall order, but above all remember that it’s important to create an experience and remain true to your company. Pro-tip: Samples, freebies, and demonstrations attract an audience. Also, a lot of people get full (can you imagine?) from all the samples, so hand-outs and on-the-go samples are important to consider.

Know your talking points

What is the main message you want to promote? How does it align with your business goals for the year? Have this prepared ahead of time to keep your conversations on track.

Smile!

Be approachable. This should be obvious, but tradeshows are a lot of work and exhausting. No matter how many cups of coffee it takes to get you through the day, keep a smile on your face and be ready to talk to anyone… you never know how far a good impression can go.

Convinced you want to exhibit?

Check out these upcoming shows!

Foodservice

Retail

Planning for a trade show?

Let’s work together.

 

 

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