Tips for trade show success as a trades-based business owner

Whether you’re a tradie getting ready to have your own stand at a renovation show, or a builder or construction owner preparing to exhibit at a design, architecture, building and construction expo, it’s important to prepare and be strategic.

Purchasing a stall at these events can be costly, and doing so will require you to take a few days out of actually doing your job, so you’ll naturally want to get the most value for money out it.

Here are some surefire tips you can follow for trade show success.


Find a way to stand out


Since visitors at trade shows are often overwhelmed by the hundreds of stalls lined up in front of them, you have to find a way to get attention.

To do this, your stall needs to stand out.

Have something eye-catching on your back wall, for instance, as this is prime property and visitor eyes will be drawn to it.

Use the space to showcase something you want browsers to remember about you, such as your point of difference or best service options.

It helps, too, to put up a large poster, banner or other collateral that contains a tagline explaining what your brand is about.

Remember: just displaying your name isn’t enough, as this won’t mean anything to people.

You need to qualify the traffic to your booth by demonstrating what it is you offer, and why potential customers should be interested.

Don’t let your stall get too cluttered, either. This can make your stand and yourself look unprofessional.

It’s always better to focus on a few quality items in your marketing.

Make sure you appeal to the senses through good design and set up, too.

For instance, have a video running that showcases your services, and/or have some giveaways on offer.

Try to think of something original though. Look for quirky giveaways that relate to your brand and will entice passersby.


Be personable


Ensure you, and anyone else working on the stand at the trade show, is personable.

Nothing will waste money like sitting in your booth looking bored, annoyed if people approach you, or otherwise unapproachable.

It’s vital that you engage with people, and find ways to draw them into conversations.

Look for ways to be the life of the party and show your enthusiasm for the event, in a way that suits your personality.

Be genuine and interested in the people who are there to browse, and you’ll form connections and make a positive impression quickly.


Have a targeted offer


To get the most out of your trade show stall, have a targeted offer for the event.

Set this up before the expo, by creating a unique landing page on your website that hints about the additional value attendees can gain by coming along on the day.

Then, when people visit your booth, encourage them to complete a call to action.

This might be signing up to your newsletter, arranging for a quote, or booking in a service.

READ: Secret weapons for boosting your trades business

Highlight your special offer to get them across the line.

This will help get you more traffic at the event, and have people talking about your stall.

It will also increase your return on investment.


Demonstrate your credentials


To get results, also demonstrate your credentials to potential clients.

They will, after all, be bombarded with exhibitors selling to them on the day, so make it clear to them why they should choose your services over someone else’s.

Build trust and create more interest by showing how you’re qualified to do your job well.

For example, let people know about you and your team’s qualifications, memberships, and experience.

Make sure you plug press you have received in the past, such as interviews, reviews or shout-outs in magazines, newspapers, TV shows, blogs and the like.


Follow up


Lastly, always follow up. You might be tired after the show, but ensure you spend time in the days after the event following up with everyone you connected with.

Send out a newsletter or a quote to those who requested one, and/or place a call or send an email to follow up with people who wanted to think about your offerings.

READ: 7 ways to set up your trades business for success in just 30 days

Many tradespeople and businesses don’t take this final step, so you will stand out and generate more business by doing this.