Image: Malaysia International Halal Showcase – Wikipedia


Tradeshows are the perfect source for new business and if you market yourself effectively, you can gain enough work to keep you busy for a few months. Alongside this, your presence at an industry-relevant tradeshow helps to build connections and solidify your reputation as a service provider. These are a few tried and trusted tricks to generate more leads at your next tradeshow:


  1. Branded Gifts


Traditionally, bag drops have been the most popular branded corporate gifts, but they’re getting a little over-used. A better idea? Chair drops. Brand your items cleverly, making your company’s presence on the products inobtrusive but still noticeable – and tie it into the theme of the event. Be sure to give your booth a mention somewhere too, inviting anyone with a bag drop to visit you and get a discount or a free coffee (whatever works for you). Set this up by contacting the event organizers and offering to provide whatever items they may wish to include in a bag drop – or a chair drop. 


  1. Create A Welcoming Tradeshow Stand


Look for ways to make your tradeshow booth welcoming and friendly. One element that’s always appreciated by weary stall-visitors is a comfortable place to sit and have a little rest. While they’re resting, they’re serving as a captive audience – giving you the opportunity to strike up a conversation and hand out your marketing materials. You’ll be known as the friendly stall-holder with a wonderful (insert your brand here). 


  1. Start By Creating A Pre-Event Buzz


Plan for the event before the event. The optimal time to start creating a buzz is six weeks before your tradeshow. It’s just enough time for people to plan ahead. A pre-event buzz can come from a competition on social media or you can build a landing page and drive new traffic with exciting announcements and “pre-event sales” on your products. There are a number of ways to get the word out and attract new buyers. 


  1. Utilize a Data Collection Tool


When you’re at the event, you’ll want to remember the people who have requested a custom quote or who would like you to email their business partner. Instead of scribbling in a notebook, use a data collection tool and simplify the way in which you keep track of your new connections. A data collection tool is usually a scanner that allows you to capture someone’s name badge or business card with all of their details. The better tools allow you to choose what the qualitative aspects are – like how hot the lead is, their industry, or how soon to contact them. 


  1. Pick Your Personalities


Tradeshows require you to put your best foot forward. That's not to say you should choose your most accomplished employees. Your time at a tradeshow is best spent building relationships, so choose the personality to represent you that is most likely to enchant people, while still holding a thorough understanding of your brand and what you have to offer. If you are naturally introverted, it will be better to choose someone charismatic to accompany you, and vice versa. 


A Winning Swing


Remember, once you have a decent list of new leads, be sure to follow up with them. Generally, it is recommended to wait no more than two weeks before getting in touch – the optimal time is within days. Initial contact can be as simple as an email saying you’re pleased to have met and you will be in touch within a few days with more information. 

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