With the state of the market these days if you are company that makes their living off of the leads gathered from trade shows, then you need to be sure that you treat each event as a learning experience. Regardless of whether or not you’ve been to only a couple of shows or two hundred, everyone has something to learn and every vendor has something to teach. To this end today we are going to discuss the importance of a trade show packet and some of the things you can do at your next event that might help you down the road.
Simply put a trade show packet is a series of observations that require you to pay attention to not only how you did, but how other vendors faired. Before you can get started though make sure that you’ve got away to keep the notes so that you can review them from time to time; the last thing you want is to be stuck jotting a bunch of random thoughts down on a bunch of scrap paper.
What worked for you? To say that a trade show can be hectic at times is definitely an understatement. We all know what it’s like when you are slammed and how things can turn around at the drop of a hat. Once you have a moment to catch your breath though, look around your booth and see what all the fuss was about. Did you sell out of anything? Was there a specific style you ran out of first or that people were asking about? Was your display set up to handle traffic accordingly or could you have setup a different way. Did you get any compliments on your exhibit?
What didn’t work for you? Every presentation has its flaws. Even the most customized of displays can miss if the way you present it is wrong. Delivery is just as important as any popup display, portable signage, or custom logo you surround yourself with. If you come across as rude, arrogant, or uncaring all that attention that your exhibit brought will quickly go the other way. In the same respect if you’re not clear and to the point as to what it is you are offering, those that visit your booth may not stick around to find out. A custom display will bring the crowd to you, but it’s your job to keep them there.
What did other vendors do? You shouldn’t have to look too far to see what other vendors at the show are doing. Take a walk and make a few mental notes as to what others are doing. Is anyone using games such as a money booth, Frisbee toss, or Plinko that are attracting a lot of attention? Maybe someone is getting a good response from a photo prop. Whatever the other guys are doing compare that to your own display and see who you think comes out on top. Maybe there are things that other vendors did well that may fit in nicely with your style or maybe you will see some things you are doing also which could be turning customers away.
A trade show packet is kind of like an exit interview you conduct with yourself. Take some time to really think about what happened during your trip, what your impressions were of the event as a whole, and what you might do differently your next time out.