Nine Questions a Company Should Ask Before Attending Any Trade Show
- Why am I considering doing this show?
Each show you participate in should compliment your overall marketing plan including other marketing strategies such as advertising, direct sales, direct mail and telemarketing.
- What do I want from this show?
Every trade show has a separate business objective such as to gather leads, create an image, meet the media, introduce new products or services find distributors or to conduct market research. It is ideal to pick one objective and focus all your efforts on that one idea.
- Is this the best show for my market?
The biggest shows are not always the best. Don't limit your exhibiting opportunities by jumping at the first show that comes along. A specialty industry show might be more appropriate.
- Who are the other exhibitors?
Who is exhibiting this year's show and who has exhibited in the past? This will explain the visitors that you expect.
- What do I know about the show promoter?
Do they have the credibility to deliver what they promise?
- Are my products and services ready for this market?
Have you done your homework? This is important when you are entering new markets. For foreign markets, price should include freight, insurance, duty and brokerage. You should understand terms of credit, packaging and labeling requirements. You need to know how business is conducted, all local customs and environmental considerations.
- Do I have resources to do the show properly?
Unless you are prepared to do the show properly, don't waste your time. Make sure you have the proper resources which includes such things as money, time, personnel and product readiness.
- Do I have a follow-up plan?
Before you exhibit you should have a follow-up plan in place. In addition to personal visits, you should consider follow up plan in place. In addition to personal visits, you should consider follow up through direct mail, telemarketing and other sources. Your first contact should be within 7-30 days after the show. Prioritize your leads in order of potential and follow up with each one.
- Are you ready for the show?
Trade shows are different than many other aspects of market, requiring a unique set of skills. Do you know how to verbally promote your product or demonstrate your product's best use? Respond to customer questions? Make a quick positive first impression?