Making The Most Out Of Trade Shows

Making The Most Out Of Trade Shows

If you have a product and you would like to engage certain companies, trade shows are probably the best way to reach those companies. This is where hundreds of companies in an industry gather in one place for two or three days. We are all aware that the ability to meet and greet your prospective clients is one of the greatest needs of any small businesses. Long time ago, cold call and email marketing were one of the most efficient way to make contact but that method has fallen out of favor nowadays.


Attending a trade show is one of the easiest way for you to make contact with your potential. You need to imagine trade shows as a battlefield and you need a battle plan to make sure you make most out of it! Here we provide you some tips to make sure your time and money at the event is worth it.


  1. Choose the right one. Don’t be lazy, spend some time finding out the details of the trade shows on the web. See who’s going to be there, do they fit into your target market? Cross reference your list of potential with the list of attendees. In case you cannot find the on the web, call the organizer to get the details.

  2. Early registration.  Some shows have different price structures. Make an early pre-registration to save you some money. However, certain trade shows have some sort of requirement as they only want qualified buyer, media people and expert. Do your homework to find out what are the requirement to get in.

  3. Dress up. First impression is important. Man up and dress up because nobody is going to do business with you if you looks like a college student. However it needs to sync with the show. If you are attending sport shows, you will look weird with a 3 piece suits. So think what to wear!

  4. Bring all the promotional stuffs. In events like this, you will never know who you are going to meet. You could meet an important contact anywhere near the event area like the lobby, elevator or even while you are enjoying your after lunch cigarette time.

  5. Battle plan. Set your goal and objectives! Make sure you arrive early and grab a map or directory as soon as possible. Layout a plan, put a target which booth you’re going to hit first and then who’s next. Set a route as trade show can be massive and you don’t want to tire yourself out by going all around the place like a headless chicken.

  6. Let the salespeople come to you. If you arrive at your targeted booth, observe it first and wait for the salespeople to come to you (they definitely will!) When they approached make a conversation with them and don’t push yourself too hard. Eventually, they will ask you what you do and at that point can introduce everything about yourself but make it brief!

  7. Get the card. Giving your business card is not enough. If you’re going to trade shows it is an opportunity for you to collect new leads. Collect dozens of cards if possible. However, before collecting those cards make sure to make contacts with them, short communication won’t do any harm (you can read our previous post here if you need help in this area). This will help you when you do follow up later.

  8. Follow up. Most crucial part after attending the event. If you don’t do follow ups, all your effort will have been for nothing. However don’t take too long before doing a follow up. Make sure the heat is still there (to the prospect). I would recommend to contact them 2 – 3 days after the show is over.

These are the tips and tricks you can apply when you’re attending a trade shows. I can say that in terms of making contact or engaging prospects, doing it in a trade shows is far more easier than doing cold calls. The main reason is there is no GATEKEEPER to stop you!!

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