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Tradeshows are often the best (and sometimes only) was to showcase your items and creative business. Tradeshows are useful because they offer you a platform on which to shop your products and services to people in a position where they are ready to learn.
They are usually a hub of activity; new products to see, new market trends to learn about and services that people can’t live without. One of the great things about shows is that people go into them looking for specific answers to specific problems. Your goal is to offer those solutions.
With all the different shows and Markets available these days, how do you choose which ones are good and which should be avoided?
You can’t just hop into any or every tradeshow and hope for the best. You need to spend some time looking into your available options and weigh whether or not you are a good fit for each show on an individual basis. If your product misses the mark in terms of what the tradeshow attendees are looking for, you may find that your ROI is low. Instead, find out all about the demographics of each show by requesting relevant information from the organizers. The demographics of the attendees will give you an idea of how each show stacks up against your needs, and that’s important.
Identify What You Want To Achieve
You’re looking to advertise your business, otherwise you would have no reason for attending. Beyond that, what are your goals? Are you looking to a tradeshow as a point of sale? Do you want to land custom orders or sign people up on the spot? Are you looking for investors, or simply to gain clients? Understanding your motives will help you focus your energy in the right places. Keep in mind that not all shows allow cash and carry so it’s also important to ask that question.
Be Prepared
You need to have an excellent handle on your booth; what will the space allow? What will the dimensions be? Ensure that you’re ready for a tradeshow by having handout materials made ahead of time, and ensuring that you’re highly visible. Get a large banner to attract the eye. Offer a demonstration to draw people in. Host a contest to engage your audience.
Follow Up
The idea behind a tradeshow is obviously to gain ground in your day-to-day work. If you make contact with people while you’re there, why not follow up with a thank you card, or send a sample of your work to their office. You want to convince potential customers that they truly can’t live without you, and great customer service is one way to do exactly that.
While this is just a quick post about what to look for in a tradeshow, there are LOTS of great ways to use markets and shows as your primary method of sales/growth. We will be exploring the topic further (especially as we get closer to market season) so please leave your questions/insights in the comments section so we can include those in our next post.

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