Business expos and vendor shows are fantastic ways to meet and interact with your target market in a short amount of time. They can be very effective and worthy of your time and costs if you plan well and have reasonable expectations.
Here are a few tips and tricks about setting up for your next business expo:
o Stay at your booth because if you don't you might miss a perspective customer/client. I know there'll be times when you do have to leave, but make it as quick as possible! Or you can have a helper (see next).
o Have a helper. Having someone help you carry your booth stuff (which may take you 2-3 trips from your car to your spot on the expo floor) and be there when you need to leave for a short break makes all of the difference.
o Don't dump all of your promotional items on the table, just have a few out so they look more scarce, and thus more valuable.
o Display your wares using different heights by using boxes (such as carry-on file boxes) that you cover with colored fabric. In order to give your display height and drama, consider taking boxes from around the house and draping them with bright fabrics. It's also a good idea to have a tri-panel to give height and contrast to your table.
o Have a fish bowl with registration slips for an "Enter to Win" contest. Everyone loves a contest and with the fish bowl you can collect names for your newsletter or upcoming workshops.
o Display a colorful banner. Bring your own tablecloths and drapes along with a bold banner.
o Run a video clip on a continuous loop to attract attention. Just be considerate of your volume levels for your booth neighbors.
o Bring snacks and water.
o Bring your camera so you can post photos of your booth on your blog or on Facebook.
o Chocolate! Have plenty of individually-wrapped chocolates for your visitors so they may linger longer at your booth.
o Have plenty of handouts/flyers. Folks love to grab a colored flyer that has handy information.
o And above all, wear comfortable shoes! You will be standing for most of the time and when you are standing you look more invested and professional.
After the expo is concluded, follow-up with your registrants in a timely manner while their expo experience is still fresh in their minds. And don't be disappointed if you don't see immediate results from your expo
participation. Many times, it will take 3-5 months after a business expo for you to get a call about your products and services. Most of all, you need to know that as a expo vendor you have taken a bold step at building your brand to gain market share by having your community know more about you.