If you manufacture automotive accessories, fast moving consumer goods, furniture, or steel tanks then Trade shows could be an excellent opportunity to grow your customer base. Business to Business (B2B) specialist firm Monique Labat Consulting has worked with these industry sectors and many others including Agro-processing, Clothing/Textiles, Creative Industries, Renewable energy and Training/education sectors.
Trade shows reach a large number of industry contacts, potential suppliers and most importantly buyers in a few short days. Trade shows provide a venue for companies to showcase their products and services, and they also offer opportunities for networking and B2B linkages.
Benefits of Trade Shows and Exhibitions
At the right Trade show you can:
- Land a big customer
- Launch a new product
- Develop a mailing list of hot leads
- Find a key strategic partner to reach a larger market
- Enhance relationships with your existing customers
Work with the organisers to ensure that the Trade Show has a history of inviting buyers interested in your products or services. To find the right Trade show for your business, you need to know:
- The different types of Trade shows
- What your company goals are
- Who your target market is
- Foot traffic numbers and reports from previous Trade shows
Trade shows allow companies to learn about the latest products and services that are available in their industry. Secondly companies participating in trade shows meet new suppliers and partners, which can help them expand their business reach. Additionally, trade shows offer opportunities to build relationships with potential customers. Finally, attending trade shows can help businesses stay up-to-date on the latest trends in their industry.
Sales Process at Trade Shows
Having a well-defined sales process in place requires sales representatives to be knowledgeable about what your company offers and how it can benefit potential customers. Sales reps should also be prepared for questions about pricing and delivery timelines. Additionally, it’s important to have a strong branding presence at Trade shows so that potential customers will remember your company after the event is over.
Attracting Buyers to your Trade Show Stand
Another way to leverage B2B linkages is by offering unique products or services that are not available from other companies attending the show. This can help you stand out from the competition and potentially win new business contracts.
Checklist for Trade Show Participation
Optimising your company’s participation at a Trade Show or Exhibition takes preparation and proper planning and ensures you leverage your time and financial investment fully. Here is a quick checklist to have a successful Trade show:
- Exhibition materials: ensure you submit all necessary exhibition stand requirement to the organisers before the deadline
- Exhibition requirements, banners, signage, product display holders, lighting, illustrations and graphic images, security for your laptop
- Marketing material: electronic catalogues, digital order forms, e-brochures, sales sheets, e-business cards and giveaways
- Product samples and products: plan how you can best display your products and/or services to gain maximum visitors to your exhibition stand
- Share your Exhibition stand no. and location pin widely with your clients, potential buyers and on social media platforms
- Exhibition stand supplies: e-lead forms on tablet, a Customer Relationship Management system to capture all visitors/potential buyers’ details
- Exhibition stand supplies: stationery, including adhesive tape, packing tape, shipping labels, packaging
- Personal items: refillable water bottle, dry snacks, mints
- Pre-Trade Show to boost attendance: send invitations to your current clients and customers and ask them to share your pre-trade show promotion
- Make appointments ahead of time: invite potential clients or customers for coffee at your Exhibition stand or at the Trade Show Coffee Shop
Finally, always follow up with potential customers after a trade show has ended in order to solidify any relationships that were formed during the event.