If you’re a small business owner or any-sized business owner for that matter who sells physical products, you should never miss an opportunity to exhibit at trade fairs and exhibitions, especially if these sorts of events are held near your business’ primary location. Events such as these which give businesses the opportunity to showcase their offerings and perhaps even sell some units on-site make for the perfect platform over which to boost sales and not just in the direct manner of pushing some units on the day.
A Great Advertising and Marketing Platform
Armed with nothing more than a few units of the product you’re selling and some display items, exhibiting at a trade fair can put your business in the minds of many future customers. And probably that’s why Trade Show Marketing still happens to be one of the most effective forms of marketing, not just for businesses, but also for industries like healthcare or education. Needless to say, it provides a unique platform to reach potential customers, engage with them, and build relationships.
Given the number of opportunities trade shows offer, your focus shouldn’t really be on the number of sales you manage to push on the day as this presents somewhat of a one-time-only opportunity to boost your sales. Once the trade fair is over, you’ll likely go back to your normal sales numbers, but if you use the fair as a platform over which to get your name out there, the resultant subsequent sales will likely come with longer-term clients.
You can achieve this long-term marketing effect by creating the illusion that your products are very popular, and so you’ll perhaps make use of sparsely stocked wire shelving units alongside all the branding items, like tear-drop displays, posters, branded floor mats, and table cloths, etc. Think of any sales on the day as a bonus. What you want to create is a buzz around your brand and the illusion of scarcity associated with the actual units.
What you should never neglect to do is open up a medium of communication between your business and any prospective clients who show even the slightest bit of interest during the event. Hand out flyers, pamphlets, business cards or catalogues etc, with clearly distinguishable contact details such as your physical location, phone numbers, email or website. If you have lots of interesting information to share, then you could even print out booklets with the help of companies like Printivity who can create great material with perfect finishing. Visitors who walk away from your stall must do so with the feeling that they’ve come away with some initial value and something as simple as a pamphlet does the job really well, as surprising as that may be. Do a little demo and sort of imply that the few units on display could be for sale, but don’t tout them outright. Your aim is to build a relationship and build up some trust between you and your future customers.
Build a Mailing List
Even if you’re only ever going to send each list-member one email, don’t pass up the opportunity to build a mailing list at a trade fair or exhibition. Clients go back and buy from authoritative figures they associate with having expert knowledge on whatever field they’re active in. So just ask attendees to simply drop their names and emails and then send them some content which depicts your expert knowledge around whatever it is you’re selling, together with your catalogue of current prices, specials or promotions.
Otherwise you can boost your sales at a trade fair or business exhibition for the short and long term.