Attending Your First Trade Show as a Small Business – Top Tips for Success

As a small business owner, there is no doubt that you are constantly looking for ways to promote and market your company. Getting the word out, building a reputable brand, and starting to carve your niche in the industry is tough and takes a lot of consistent effort.

Royalty Free Photo

One route that many small businesses use is to attend local trade shows as an exhibitor. It provides your business with an opportunity to get in front of a huge audience of potential clients/customers, plus it gives you the opportunity to network with vendors, suppliers, and others in the industry. If you’re ready to attend your first trade show and want to be sure it is as successful as possible, then here are some tips and advice that you can use. Let’s take a closer look.

Show Up with Merchandise

One of the best ways to generate buzz and attention at your booth is to provide free stuff. Let’s face it, attendees love walking around trade shows scooping up as much swag as possible. You can use this as an opportunity though, so that it’s a win-win for all.

Instead of just laying free stuff out on your table, use the product as an incentive. For example, maybe visitors can receive free stuff if they provide you with their business card, their email address, give you a few minutes to go over your product line, or any other idea you can think of.

You can also have different tiers of the incentive. Maybe the more information the person gives you, the bigger the gift. The first level could be a free pen for example, and then they work their way up to branded merchandise such as custom coffee mugs from Grey Fox. The great thing about branded merchandise is that they will think of your company each and every time they use the product.

Make Your Booth Fun

In order to attract visitors to your booth you need to exude a fun and welcoming attitude. If your booth is all about business, then it’s not going to capture anyone’s attention. What this means is that whoever is at the booth representing the company, whether it is you or other staff members, there needs to be a bit of customer service training done ahead of time. Everyone needs to have a smile on their face, be ready to answer questions, and make things light and fun.

Give Visitors a Free Service – Set Up a Charging Station

Another tip is to give visitors a free service and set up a charging station. Nowadays everyone walks around with a smartphone, which means their battery is constantly draining. By offering a free charging station, you can use the opportunity to chat with them while their device is juicing up.

Simple Tips to Make Things a Success

These may seem like simple tips, but they can have a big impact on how successful your time at the trade show is.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.