Pet show offers lessons for exhibitors
Trade shows and consumer expos require planning, just like any opportunity to reach potential clients.
St. Louis, MO – Amazing Pet Expos produces events for the pet industry, but any event that a business exhibits in requires planning and organization. After producing 114 events since 2009, here are some tips for having a terrific evet experience.
Tell your clients & potential clients. Ask them to come and support and/or meet you. Do this via email or snail mail.
If you have a website, put a banner on your home page with a link to the Pet Expo site. If you don’t know how to do that contact the Expo webmaster.
Do you have connections to local publications that might give you some press? It is a great opportunity to get a story published about your business and promote the Pet Expo at the same time.
Planning Your Booth
Be clear on your intention for participating. What image do you want to project and what do you want the focal point to be?
Grab the attention of attendees; there are 100+ exhibitors at this event, you need to find your niche of how to stand out amongst the crowd. Giveaways, drawings, raffles, freebies, interaction with pets and children are all ideas that will draw the public into your booth.
Your space should reflect who you are and how you do business. If your space looks thrown together and you are giving out poorly copied materials…this sends a message...
Get creative, have banners and colorful displays that will make your space inviting.
Plan in advance what materials you want to give away during the Expo. You may want to save your glossy, full color marketing materials to give to those people you know are interested in your product or service and have your black and white copies available for everyone.
Decide how to capture leads. Give attendees an opportunity to sign up for your mailing list or newsletter or give them an opportunity to enter a drawing. If you do a drawing make the prize applicable to your business. Otherwise you may get a lot of people on your mailing list who are not interested in what you offer. They just wanted to win a prize.
During The Event
Stand as much as you can. If you have to sit, try and sit off to the side, not behind your table.
Stay fully present to what is going on. This means no reading, doing crafts or having long conversations with your friends. This also means no eating, chewing gum or talking on your cell phone.
Listen more than you talk. Don’t give a lot of information until you know what they know. Find out where they are in their knowledge of your product or service. Then have a dialogue.
Be generous. Be willing to help the other exhibitors have a successful show. Get to know the other exhibitors and what they are offering so you can be a resource to the attendees.
Make sure your booth is staffed at all times.
Be familiar with the layout of the Expo and the Speaker Schedule so you can act as a resource for the attendees.
Do not start to break your booth down even 5 minutes early. There will be attendees there until the very end. It is not fair to them or to the exhibitors around you if you start packing up early. Also, packing up early will insure that you will not be asked back to the Expo next year.
After The Show
Follow up with all of your new contacts within a week after the show. Contact people by email and thank them for coming by your booth and signing up for your email list.
If people ordered product from you put your orders in right away.
If you said you would send them something…do it. How you handle post Pet Expo interaction will tell them how you do business.