We get it. There’s a lot of pressure that comes with in-person events. It sounds like a great idea but a lot of the time small businesses and startups are worried about so many complications that we end up just ‘postponing it until next year’. That’s a shame. There are so many ways that taking part in an in-person event or trade show can boost your business. From meeting potential business partners at the events to having a surge of online followers, the benefits of in-person events can be huge.
So why are so many small businesses worried? The big drawbacks that are discussed are the time and money that are associated with these trade shows. It’s common to back out of these events and simply use digital marketing as the sole platform for businesses. As we reasoned in How to Impress at Events… even on a Budget, having a stand at an event can be a real return on investment (ROI). Likewise, the time it takes to figure out what you need and where to go leaves many potential event-goers scratching their heads.
Well, that’s where this article comes in! Here, this go-to guide will help you organize your event. From location to what to sell, by reading this list there are no longer any excuses not to attend events nor can there be any justifiable reasons as to why a boost in business wasn’t found!
There are two main considerations a small business faces when deciding which event(s) to attend: Where it is and what it sells.
Let’s say you’re selling skincare and cosmetics. There might be the perfect event with loads of potential contacts and a big venue to show off what it is you sell. This can be a little pointless if it’s halfway across the country. Not only can the logistics be a nightmare but your efforts will be in vain if you don’t have the infrastructure set up to supply all these potential new customers with your beauty supplies.
Similarly, it can be tempting to go to the first trade show you catch wind of. Hearing about that big event that’s happening next week just around the corner is all well and good but if it’s designed for those in the insurance industry and you sell cuddly toys, again, you might be wasting your time.
Be patient. Find a suitable event that’s geographically close enough that having a presence there can be profitable for the business in the long run. Try checking out Events in America for an extensive directory list of upcoming events
Another thing small businesses tell us that puts them off attending in-person events is after all the effort of finding the right place to go to, they turn up and nothing… no crowds, no new customers, barely even a handshake off of a potential trade partner.
The best way to avoid this is to create fanfare before you even hitch the trailer. Post plenty of posts to your social media declaring the event the hottest ticket in town. Advertise a competition you’ll have there and the prizes to be won.
That way you’ll have a long line of waiting customers before you’ve even set up shop!
Even with an epic marketing campaign, your stall can fall flat if you don’t catch the attendees’ attention. Just imagine the pain: you’ve agonized for hours on which trade show to hitch up at, you’ve spent considerable marketing dollars advertising your stand, and there still isn’t a customer insight. What on earth went wrong?
Well, more likely than not it’s your stand. Having a mediocre banner and going signless really isn’t going to cut it. You need something like this PVC Free Vinyl Banner to really get people’s attention and to show that your business is one to be taken seriously. We know not every startup can fork out loads for some of the most premium products, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an eye-catching event.
Check out our article How to Impress at Events… even on a Budget to find out how to attend in-person events while penny-pinching. If you really want to create a masterclass on how to deliver at a trade show, we recommend reading our article, Making a Statement at Events for some of the finest table and booth equipment out there.
Now that you have some of the best eco-friendly and sustainable event banners, signs, and table throws, it’s putting your products front and center of your show. After all, there’s no point having great big signs telling everyone how great your business is if there’s no proof of this at the event.
Make sure your table is fully stocked with your latest products to really show off what you sell. Likewise, having a bunch of brochures and a smattering of business cards is essential. You want potential customers to understand what separates you from your competitors.
The last thing to consider is having a range of products that customers can take a look at. You might be really proud of the design of your latest batch of t-shirts, but having these in replacement of all your other apparel items isn’t much good for those trying to find the latest hoodies or caps.
Therefore, a physical range of what you sell, with ways to find out more info also a key part of having in-person event success.
If you’ve followed all these steps, the chances are you’re going to have quite a bit of success at your next trade show. We’re confident you’ll see a line of customers at your stands, and you might even see a business deal brokered beyond your wildest dreams.
But don’t pop the champagne cork just yet, there’s still one thing left to do. It’s great having a bunch of new customers but it’s 2021 and we want to go viral (or at least, achieve a boost in our social media channels). That’s why to make the most of the success of your show, take plenty of videos and photos as the event is unfolding.
Keep customers coming back by announcing the latest competition. A fresh idea is to have certain freebies available before lunchtime and then announce a whole new range of giveaways for the afternoon.
Customers can also be in with a chance of winning a bigger prize by liking your social media page and sharing the event details to really help boost your business. It’s by following this final step you can see the fruits of your hard work go beyond the day itself and see lasting long-term results for your business.
There’s no doubt that events are hard work. The organization and the set-up costs can put a lot of pressure on these events to be a success. We know how tempting it can be to say, ‘screw it! I’ll just do a digital marketing campaign and call it a day.’ Doing so eliminates a potential business-changing proposition and the possibility of a great ROI.
And, anyway, no pain, no gain, right?
We’re confident that by following these steps you can prepare to have a successful in-person event. If we were right, let us know in the comments below!
To see the full range of eco-friendly products we have to achieve trade-show brilliance, click here. DGW Branded has a range of customized merchandise that can help both in-person events and general business needs.
If you have any questions or would like advice on how DGW Branded can help with your marketing needs, you can speak to one of our experts today!
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