The term trade show makes most of us think meetings and freebies. (Who doesn’t need another stress ball?) While trade shows offer great potential for generating leads and sales, not everyone looks forward to the long days of professional networking and trying to build relationships with strangers. Here are 3 tips to help turn trade shows — those you attend and those you miss — into successful lead generation tactics.
Pick the right trade shows.
Exhibiting at a trade show isn’t cheap. Between exhibitor fees, marketing materials and the booth itself, you can easily spend hundreds (even thousands) of dollars. To ensure the best return on your hefty investment, go to shows that will host your target audience. Trade shows provide details about who will likely attend, so check it out before you sign up.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Sure, bigger trade shows have more attendees you can potentially connect with. But those attendees are usually running from one exhibit to the next in a frenzied attempt to see as much of the show as possible in a limited amount of time. At smaller trade shows, visitors tend to give more importance to the limited exhibitions present, thus making interaction and engagement more meaningful and yielding better results.
Generate leads from trade shows you don’t attend.
Due to location, time, and cost, there will be many trade shows your business is not able to attend. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Most trade show organizers are more than willing to share information about their show, who attended, and how it went. In fact, many use a press release to state this information. Study up on the shows you miss and target businesses that could be potential clients.
Trade shows can be a haven for leads if you employ the right strategy. Just make sure you’re aware of the audience present and on your A game.