Another Entrepreneurship Project of the  Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University

7 Ways to Spread the Buzz at a Trade Show

As an entrepreneur, what’s the biggest challenge you face? Most likely, it’s getting your product out there and creating a buzz about it. The power of word-of-mouth marketing is probably the most explosive and effective. However, when starting up, entrepreneurs may want to make their brand/product ubiquitous by making their presence known at industry-related trade shows and exhibitions.

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According to Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti 9-to-5 Guide, the goals for a business presence at an industry trade shows is to try and earn awards, press mentions, sign new accounts or make deals for distribution. This all works best when you do some advance planning. The following are several must-dos if you want to be successful at trade shows:

Do the recon: Attend the shows first. Do your research and figure what people are really looking for. Save money by understanding people at trade shows. As a fellow attendee, you can strike a double rapport with the other attendees and scour for the potential customers, partners and advisors you’d like to meet at the event.

Create an irresistible pitch: If you have a great demo of your product, you’re sure to attract twice as many people. Make sure you present your demo well and prepare an engaging pitch that presents the solution to a specific customer.

Make your booth inviting: Don’t clutter your booth with too many things. The trick is to make it look busy without cluttering it. Let it remain clean, simple and to-the-point just as your product and idea.

Cut costs, not corners: Make sure to spend wisely when it comes to putting up a show. Hire students and volunteers to represent the company. You will end up cutting costs and reaching out to wider network through new volunteers and students.

Network, network and network: Get to know your exhibitors and befriend them. They can always help you and put you in touch with other customers and people. Don’t leave the booth unattended—ever.

Follow up and evaluate: You need to stay in touch with your customers and follow up with them. Always send a thank you note and ask for feedback when possible.

Use these tips as a checklist if you’re planning to exhibit at a tradeshow. You may read the full article at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/236427.

Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!

Image credit: Caitlyn Bom Photography

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