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We may be living in a world dominated by digital technology, but there is still much to be said for conducting business on a personal, face-to-face level. No matter how many golden marketing opportunities social media can offer, conducting business in a physical environment remains a potentially lucrative option. As such, exhibiting at a trade event can be highly advantageous for your business in terms of generating new leads and growing your customer base. Here at the Federation of Small Businesses, we have put together this short guide to making the most of your exhibition time.
There are plenty of opportunities for winning new business at a trade show before the main event even begins. Many exhibitions often have pre-show events, open to a select number of trade guests. If you have an expertise in a particular area which may be of interest to an audience drawn from your trade sector, you could offer your services as a guest speaker. A well-received speech can serve the dual purpose of raising the profile of both yourself and your business in addition to creating a level of trust with potential new clients and business partners.
The secret to success at exhibition and trade shows is thorough preparation and planning beforehand. At the show itself, you will have a captive audience who are in attendance specifically to do business and look for new opportunities. Therefore it is essential that your business is presented in its very best light, as there will be a tremendous amount of competition. Make sure that your stand is kitted out with your very best literature, both in hard copy and digital formats. If your budget will allow it, a well-designed exhibition stand will help you to stand out from the crowd.
Promotional give-aways are usually a crowd-pleaser, so the more free gifts you have to offer your audience the better. Promotional gifts are only really truly effective, however, if they have your business name and brand emblazoned across them. This helps to keep the identity of your business fresh in the minds of as many people as possible.
Following up on potential leads after the event has ended is just as important as getting things right on the day itself. Failing to contact potential new business clients in the time frame you have promised simply makes your company look unprofessional and, more worryingly, unreliable. However, follow through on the promises you have made, and your exhibition efforts will hopefully be suitably rewarded.
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