Trade Show Preparation in Lincoln, NE – 2019
Trade shows are a great opportunity for marketing and business growth. They’re a fantastic networking event that encourages face-to-face interaction; however, learning how to best utilize the opportunity can be tricky. Fortunately, there are a variety of companies dedicated to making your business stand out. We came up with some key tips and spoke to a couple local experts in order to give you a special insight of how you and your company can truly benefit from participating in a trade show.
Our Strictly Business team has participated in our fair share of trade shows, so we want to stress how important it is to not underestimate the planning required beforehand. If you want to get the most out of your trade show, you need to be organized. You should start planning at least a month before the actual event. It’s so easy to forget the small details when you plan things in a rush—people can definitely tell the difference between a slapped together booth and an organized, planned presentation.
In addition, signage is crucial! In the hectic crowds, a clean, engaging display will attract people your way so they can see what your company is all about. Trade shows are a great way to reach a whole new market, so when you put yourself out there, make sure to make a good first impression. You don’t want to look stressed or over-worked when you’re representing your brand.
Hosting raffles, games, or trivia quizzes at your booth is a great way to get people buzzing about your brand! Raffles will allow you to get the contact info from many people while only giving away one large item. You could give away concert tickets, speakers, or something to do with your industry.
Try not to remain shackled to your booth and interact with as many people as possible. Bring your most sociable staff to man the booth while you network, and host interesting activities at your booth to keep people around.
Julie Shald from Sign Pro of Lincoln filled us in on how to best utilize your staff during the show: “Make sure to bring staff who like talking to people and are knowledgeable about your brand. Only bring the people who can uphold the image of your company’s values and that won’t make a bad first impression.”
“To look professional, make sure your staff are all dressed like a team, Julie added. “Having a stand out uniform is an easy way to increase your brand recognition. Treat the people walking by hospitably.”
Sign Pro can offer budget-friendly options for trade shows such as retractable banners, logo imprinted tablecloths and runners, A-frame signs, and feather flags. Purchasing trade show signage is a good investment, and it can be reused. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg (unless you want to) as there are often economy versus premium grade product levels, depending on the item.
Sign Pro also offers full service solutions for all your graphic needs. In addition to trade show products, they offer lit or non-lit dimensional building signage, vehicle wrap printing and design, wall and window graphics, custom decals, site signs, large and small banners, and more.
Another way to keep your business name remembered is by giving out unique swag. Swag is a necessity in the trade show scene. It’s the simplest way to keep your brand in people’s lives for a long time after the trade show ends.
We talked to Amy Doele from Flicker Promotions to tell us more about how to best use promotional items.
“Sometimes, a company may think that just having candy or even no takeaway at their booth is sufficient,” Amy addressed. “Tradeshows are meant to reach your customers in a meaningful and targeted way. One of the best ways to reach them is to extend a takeaway with your name on it, especially when the item is useful and even fun! For example, a branded shirt will be kept for five years and a tote will be kept for four. That’s endless marketing from people who don’t even realize how much they’re helping your business out. So, if you give out branded items make sure they’re top notch quality and something people will want to use.”
Flicker Promotions has merchandise available to help you step up your swag game. Instead of something everyone will get, like a pen, try giving away travel mugs or jars of candy with your logo on them. By giving away desirable goods, you’ll get more people gravitating towards your booth.
“We plan with clients to create an atmosphere that is welcoming to their customers,” explained Amy. “We can also provide many product options for our clients which they could offer as incentives to show attendees. We can even design games to draw attention to your booth. The key is to have a booth that is inviting to your customers in terms of looks as well as staff. This could be their first impression, so your booth should be eye-catching with a call to action that draws people in. This could be a game or a big ticket giveaway.”
One of the biggest benefits of attending a trade show is the face-to-face interaction you will get with potential leads and investors. Most trade shows have hundreds of locals wandering around just waiting to find a display that catches their eye. Tammy Little with Shirts 101 offered to tell us about what her company provides to trade show organizers.
“We can help businesses with their trade show presentation by outfitting them with all their trade show set-ups, table throws, banners, tents, logo mats, runners, and catalog organizers,” Tammy said. “We can also provide them with logo-ed promotional items to give to patrons to brand their business and products. Lastly, we can provide them with embroidered or screen-printed apparel and business cards to create a professional exchange.”
We also asked Tammy for some quick trade show tips from her experience on site: “Start early and double your planning time. Be sure you have plenty of people in your booth, and try not to sit down so people feel more engaged. Less is more, stay focused on what two or three product or service messages you want to portray in your booth and eliminate the clutter. Always get contact information from everyone that comes to your booth. Make them earn your promotional items. One way to do that is to have a raffle where people drop their contact info in a hat to win.”
As we’ve been saying, it’s important to establish your business’s presence by attending trade shows in your area. One trade show to put on your calendar is the Lincoln Business Expo hosted by the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. This is one of the region’s largest trade shows with more than 1,200 attendees coming to the show floor to see the Lincoln Business Expo’s 130+ exhibitors. This will be a great opportunity to put your business out there in the Lincoln area! Expo experts know trade shows offer high levels of visibility for vendors and sponsors.
The Chamber works hard to make the Lincoln Business Expo as unique and memorable as possible so that guests have a great experience from start to finish. Expand on your company’s name, reputation, and marketing reach at the Lincoln Business Expo on October 22, 2019 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. You can reserve your booth today at LCOC.com.
Trade shows can be crazy, stressful, tiring, and loud, but they are a great opportunity to market your brand and make connections that you never would have made if it weren’t for your decision to participate in a trade show. Do your research and reach out to professionals here in Lincoln who can help you optimize your trade show experience.