Did you make the most of the tradeshow?
If you have done tradeshows for a while as an artist you will know that not every trade show works out in your favour. Many issues can cause this from good old Mother Nature to the layout by the organizers. One little change whether it be your booth space, product line, or more can be the culprit so how do you evaluate a show and decide whether it was successful or not? There are some steps you can do to help you make your show successful.
The first step is to make sure you did your homework and made sure that your target audience are the people attending the show. I don’t know how many times I have seen vendors at trade shows that shouldn’t be there. Their products have nothing to do with the show theme, they haven’t thought out there booth set up, and didn’t bring materials required for the show. Then wonder why it wasn’t successful for them. This is more common than you think.
The next area you should concern yourself with is the reason you are at the show. Some shows we attend are income generating, because our main target market is there, we have many products that fit that group, and we are known in that community. Other shows we attend are more for promotion. We don’t try to sell as much because the products don’t fit as well, but spend more time talking with people and trying to get a feel for what they are looking for. These types of shows also depend on the cost of entering a show, the clientele, location, etc. These shows can still be very successful and many companies do this just for the promotional benefit.
The third area is the show that tanks. We have all had one or more of these and they can be very hard mentally on vendors. You didn’t sell anything; you couldn’t talk with anyone because no one was there or people were there but were as we say in the transportation industry just kicking tires. Window shopping as it were. What do you do with these shows? If the attendance was good but people weren’t buying then use it to try and learn what products were moving at the show. Are there certain booths that seemed to attract many customers; were there parts of the layout that seemed funnel the crowd in a certain way? Evaluate your booth, is it attractive to people, do you have products that help people linger longer at your booth. I created a line of stickers for sale at the shows and although we won’t get rich with stickers it is a great way to get people to stop and hang around the booth. Everyone loves to look and read stickers. Take out a pad of paper and make notes of what you could do better for next year, what products could be developed and so on. Use it as an educational experience. You’re going to sit there anyway. Always be trying to improve your products and booth for the next time and you will be successful down the road. The vendors who give up are the ones who miss out on opportunities. Bad shows can not only make you improve faster, but make you a smarter vendor for the future.
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