Trade Show 101: Tips for Entrepreneurs

So you are an entrepreneur and you have decided to invest more into the growth of your business by exhibiting at a trade show. That’s great. However, before you invest the time and resources into exhibiting, you should do some trade show homework first. Below, are tips to help you get the most out of your trade show investment.

Focus on qualified leads, not sales

trade show budget

As an entrepreneur, the key to having a successful trade show is making connections and funneling prospects into your sales pipeline as qualified leads. You must keep in mind that while you may want to sell your products to attendees, not all visitors to your booth are ready to buy.

If you hit the show floor with boxes full of merchandise and present yourself as a merchant, attendees who are looking to learn more about you may avoid your booth for fear of being pressured to buy. Instead, set your booth up to focus on consultations.

By having meaningful conversations with attendees and gathering their information, you increase the possibility of turning them from a prospect into a long-time valued customer.

Communicating your capabilities


One of the many challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs is properly communicating their capabilities to attendees on the show floor. No one knows your products better than you do, but that does not mean you are prepared to convey the genius of your business to others.

Before you set foot on the show floor, take the time to draft a sales script that clearly communicates your product benefits and features. If you are having trouble drafting a sales script, you may want to enlist the help of a freelance copywriter who can take your words and spin them into gold.

Make your trade show booth attractive


You can increase your appearance and appeal with an attractive trade show booth. Your booth does not need to be expensive; it just needs to present a professional and clean look. Even if your booth is a simple tabletop display, pay attention to the details when it comes to the experience that your visitors will have when entering your space.

Swap leads with other entrepreneurs and exhibitors.


Small business trade show exhibitors can use all the help they can get. What better way to reach out a helping hand, and receive one in return, than swapping leads and contacts with your fellow exhibitors? You can work in collaboration with other exhibitors to trade leads as long as they are not direct competitors.

You can share your leads with others to gain exposure to more key stakeholders within prospective companies and buyers who did not get a chance to speak with you.

Practice your public speaking skills


For entrepreneurs looking to secure qualified leads on the show floor, it is essential to be perceived as an expert by attendees. If you do not have great public speaking and communication skills, prospects might not feel confident in your business. So no matter if you are shy or outgoing, practicing your public speaking can help you carry on engaging and fruitful conversations with attendees, which in turn will help you generate more leads and sales.

These are just a few ways to boost your profile and increase your chances at trade show success. If you want more advice on exhibiting, please visit our full library of trade show resources covering everything from budgeting and event marketing ROI.