Trade shows are one of the best places to garner new business, attract new customers and interact face-to-face with trade show attendees.
But, realistically, they also are a huge investment of money. Are you making the most out of every dollar that you're putting into garden industry trade shows?
Chances are, your garden business could be doing more.
Read on to discover Garden Media's 6 tips for tip-top trade show performance. We guarantee you'll like what you see!
1. Right Time, Right Place
For any of the upcoming tips to make a difference, your business leaders first need to identify if you're in the right place at the right time.
Because let's face it, no matter how much time, love, and energy you pour into your trade show preparation, if you're at the wrong trade show it simply won't matter.
To navigate your way to the right trade show for your garden business, identify what you want your goals of the show to be. New clients? New customers? New media contacts? New retailers?
Once you know who you're looking for, you can see what shows they're attending. Research the demographics of the potential trade shows for your garden business. Better yet, reach out to the planners of the show, or last year's attendees to see what they thought.
2. Plan--and then Plan Some More
Trade shows require a ton of prep work, but if you do it right, you'll get a huge return on your trade show investment.
Start prepping two months before the trade show. Of course, you want to get your sales strategy and set-up for the trade show done as early as possible. Because as the date of the trade show creeps up, you want to spend your time identifying and connecting with customers, setting up media appointments and interacting face-to-face with the people you want to target.
Plus, the closer trade shows get, the more small projects will pop up that you didn't anticipate for.
3. Maximize Your Time
When you're at a trade show, you're surrounded by tons and tons of people you want to talk with! So, you don't want mere chance to bring you together.
To make the most of your time while you're at trade shows, you need to set up meetings, parties, and meet-up's before you get there.
It's important to remember that everyone there is as busy as you are, so the sooner you get an appointment on the calendar with them, the better.
4. Speak Your Heart Out
Want to become a stand out at your favorite garden industry trade show this year?
Well then, speak up!
Reach out to the trade show planning committee and see if they'd like you or a team member to present on a topic you are an expert in at the show this year.
When your potential customers see that you're a leader in this industry, they'll be much more apt to accept your appointment--or reach out to you on their own.
5. Relations > $$$
Honestly, do not go to trade shows to sell things. No one will like you, and before you know it, your booth will be blacklisted.
The best way to get killer ROI from your trade show presence is not to push product at the trade show, but instead, to form meaningful relations with key influencers there.
At trade shows, you want to connect.
Act like a human, and less like a business while you're there. You'll be amazed at how many more connections you'll make.
Don't worry! You can convert those qualified leads to customers once you've charmed and connected them in person.
6. Value Your Freebie
What you giveaway at trade shows often defines your presence there. If you've got stellar swag, you can guarantee word will get around fast!
Think about your audience, and create different giveaways for each persona that will be at the trade show.
Remember as with most things, the more personalized the better!