Trade Shows: A Catapult for Business

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The United States hosts thousands of trade shows annually. If your company is not participating in these high exposure venues, you are losing business. Every industry and professional group, from dentists to defense contractors,

is involved in trade shows to display their latest services, products, and technological innovations. Marketing studies have shown that this type of exposure is one of the most cost effective strategies available to businesses these days. You can completely arrange, organize, and manage your own events or you can procure the services of a trade show "coach".

Coaches can handle single aspects of preparing your trade show, or they can provide a full service approach similar to using a wedding or event planner. These trade show planners will focus your company's efforts on elements that are proven throughout time to give you the best return on the time and money invested. They create the optimal booth for your business needs and train your staff to create good first impressions when visitors stop by.

They teach you to spot the legitimate prospects as opposed to window browsers. They counsel their clients in how to first make low key contact and smoothly transition to a dialogue.  A good trade show coach will teach your staff how to prospect potential clients with an effective line of questioning that gets your prospect engaged in the process. Finally, they can instruct you in professional closing techniques that keep the door open for follow up contacts.

If you choose to keep your event planning in-house, then create a flow sheet of tasks and objectives so you are organized and structured. Obviously, the first task is to choose the appropriate show. Next, decide how many are going and arrange transportation,

lodging, and develop a schedule of who will man the booth during the course of the show. Also, have a booth designed and constructed. Make sure shipping for the booth, the sample products, and audio-visual and printed materials are all arranged. The booth and all marketing materials should be professionally prepared.

Besides samples, brochures, CD's and other marketing aids, make sure to have some trade show gifts to give away. Coffee mugs, pens, key chains, flash drives, and calendars are simple inexpensive souvenirs for your visitors to take away and remember you by.  Pass out tickets and raffle off a door prize. Have your company logo, web address, phone contacts, or email address on your marketing aids.

Business researchers have determined that the weakest link in even experienced trade show attendees is the effort they make before the show. Be sure to communicate with e-mails or fliers to your known or potential customers before the event. Obviously, you will follow up contacts from after the show, but your job is also to draw more people to the event upfront.

Organize in-house or with a trade show coach. Plan your personnel, arrange all the necessary logistics, have your products ready, as well as your booth and handouts professionally created. Work to build excitement beforehand and follow through with your contacts after the event. These principles will pay off time and again.

The author of this article is a writer for CorporateSnobs.com, a great place to find hundreds of tradehsow gifts and promotional items. Find more great articles and ideas for promotional products with just one click away.

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