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Trade Show advice

texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
edited July 2007 in Marketing
My company will be participating in our first trade show in September which is being held in conjunction with the Texas Realors Convention, so my target audience will be Realtors.  Since we have never participated in this sort of event, I need any and all words of wisdom, especially recommendations on hand-outs and booth set-up.  Your assistance is appreciated!  Thanks!


  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Well, that`s much easier than I thought!  I`ve already got both of those.
    You have excellent resources on your website, thanks so much for your advice!
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    Yes...keep your booth open and inviting.
    Make sure your booth communicates quickly and concisely what you do.  You have a matter of seconds to communicate!  Or they walk by.
    Never sit in the back and expect people to come to you.  I always like to stand in the front near the isle to smile, say hello if they look my way, ask politely if they ever experienced whatever your product/service solves, and offer literature (that I`m holding) and conversation.  If interested, then sell.  I NEVER force myself on them as they walk by.
    We always have chair(s) in the booth but more for the attendees to rest.  Not us, unless it`s really slow.  We will invite them or their spouse/ sig.other to rest, especially on the later days when all are tired of walking.
    AND Sell them on your features and benefits!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Excellent points!  Thank you so much for the advice. texashomestager2007-7-31 0:49:58
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Craig, it is visual, and I thought about a slide show in one part of the booth and actually setting up a staging vignette on the other side.  The thing I was really puzzling on is what kind of freebie or hand-out I could distribute.  The CD is a good idea, but nothing they probably wouldn`t see on my website. (which is under construction...and I fully intend on getting your critique on it before we launch!)  So trying to come up with something (other than a draw for a gift certificate) that they can be reminded of us after the show is a challenge!  I`ve attended many trade shows and expos as a consumer, but never as the exhibiter!  Any and all tips appreciated!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    AH! Yes I do see....I see I have a lot to learn!!!  Having just started in the business world I have learned more over the past 2 months than my entire time in school!  Of course, if I had only stayed awake in class...
    I can see I am going to really benefit from being a part of SuN!
  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    I disagree, I don`t think many people will file away a cd.  I think it gets tossed in the can.  I ask for stuff to be mailed anymore.  No, I`m not lazy, just attended to many shows, gathering all sorts of stuff, then at lunch, I usually unload down to the bare essentials.  I don`t think I`m abby-normal.
    But whatever you do, set up a system where you can measure how every dollar you spend on marketing impacts the bottom line.   Not just the leads, but how many of those leads turn into sales.  Giving away cd`s, ads in trade publications, exhibiting in a certain trade shows, yellow pages, any dollar you spend in marketing. 
    Everything in business should be measured in ROI.  Even marketing.  Although it`s harder to do.
    As a side, I myself used a staging consultant for my last home and the results were more than I could ever imagine.  I know it helped sell my home.  I always mention it to people I know who are selling.
    Beautifully done brochures with pictures and testimonials.
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Excellent!  I am happy to hear you had a great staging experience!  I have developed a brochure and worked very hard at branding the company.  If I can figure out the tech part, I will post it on here for critique.  Your feedback is excellent, keep it coming!
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Craig...I love this suggestion!  I currently have 2 tag lines that I use, "Captivate the Market"  which is included in my logo design, and "Prepare Yourself"  which I use on my brochures.  I can`t wait to get your opinions on the website, hopefully I will post that for critique sometime early next week.
    Thanks again for your great advice!
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14
    I might think about decorating your booth as a "home stage." Give the ability to have your potential clients see your work in action. Maybe even have some water bottle (with water inside of course) with your brand or label printed on the band. Allow some visitors to have a seat. maybe they will... more likely than not, they will say no. That`s when you ask a few simple questions about their current need for a home stager. Of course I would soft sell this, but by offering water or a relaxing rest for a few seconds in your booth they might feel obligated to listen to you for a couple of minutes. That`s also a great time to provide a flier showing photos of your work. Anyway. just a thought.
  • MarketeerMarketeer subscriber Posts: 2
    It looks like you`re getting some good sugestions. I think that all are beneficial, but I notice that one thing is missing. (at least it hasn`t been stated directly)
    Be memorable! You`re stading in a sea of thousands of booths who all look the same and are all trying to get the same people to stop and talk. When I attend a show as a vendor, I want to be sure that people walk away thinking, "that booth with that one thing was really cool." Wow them, otherwise your brochure and business card will be the one that is dumped as they clear room in the suitcase for the trip home.
    We`re a montana company that attended MacWorld in SanFrancisco a few years back. We knew that there was no way to be "cooler" than Mac...or any of the other tech presenters. So, we played up our "hick" location. We had a kiddie pool with fake trout and a fly fishing rod. (A River Runs Through It was filmed in our hometown.) We had a tiny booth in the back corner, but people were standing in line during the whole show to get a shot at casting the fly rod from the "Montana Guys." Everyone remembered us, and then had a reason to keep the sales material that we were passing out.
    What is memorable about your company? What will everyone else be doing? It`s important to know that so that you can run in the opposite direction.
    If you`d like to brainstorm a bit, I`d be happy to help. Feel free to email me and we can set up a time to talk. Or, tap into the community and let`s brainstorm here!
  • rookapsrookaps subscriber Posts: 10
    I am interested in testing trade show waters for the first time too.  Because the booths are rather pricey for my small marketing budget it has been suggested that I look into sharing a booth (splitting) with another (non-competitve) company.  What do you all think of that idea?  Where would I find someone to share a booth?  We sell USB Replacement Caps so I suppose it would be a computer/techie tradeshow that I would be most intersted in.  However, flash drive users (my target audience) are hardly limited to techies.  Please advise.
    C. Terry
    RooKaps Team

  • drvagdrvag subscriber Posts: 5
    C.  Sharing a booth is a good ideal.  We`ve done it many times in certain shows that we wanted to try.  We share with another manufacturer that uses the same reps we use.  That way the rep can sell for both of us.
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
    Great advice from everyone!  Craig, in answer to your questions, we are the ONLY home stager at this show, the organizers were very happy that we signed up for that reason.  Since our business is based in Houston, Galveston is very close for us and 60% of the Realtors attending (about 2000 total) will be from the Houston area.  The show is being held at the Galveston convention center, 150 planned vendors.  We are in a corner (late registrant) but right next to the Houston Association of Realtors (of whom we are an associate member). 
    I am going to try to figure out how to let you look at my brochure, and I`d like your opinion if I am OK doing all this myself.  It`s something I actually enjoy working on, and this was my first project.  If it`s worthy, I may try to do these presentation folders myself.
    Keep `em coming....more!  More!texashomestager2007-7-31 0:52:48
  • texashomestagertexashomestager subscriber Posts: 2
  • rookapsrookaps subscriber Posts: 10
    I was able to open your brochure with no problem.  Very colorful, should be a great handout at a tradeshow.
    Charlotte Terry
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