Having a presence at a trade fair is not a cheap thing. Not only is there the cost of the stand, with extra costs for prominence and size, but you’ve also got to supply staff. If the fair is abroad, there are flights and hotels to pay for. Then there are the leaflets, brochures, demos, equipment and freebies for the stand. So is it really necessary?
When You Just Have to Be There
With some famous trade shows, if you’re in the industry, you have to be at the show.
Take IFFA – it’s the leading international trade fair for packaging in the meat industry and has been since 1949, and it only happens every three years.
Follow These Six Tips to Get Your Money’s Worth
To ensure you get a decent ROI (Return on Investment) from a big international show like this, you need to follow these six tips.
1. Work out in advance what you want out of the show. Publicity? New leads? Increased market presence? How much are you prepared to spend to achieve this? The UK exhibition centre has useful advice on how to keep costs under control.
2. Create strategies around your goals. For example, how will you get people on to the stand? How will you engage them? What’s your follow-up?
3. Get the right people there. Don’t choose people solely on how smart they are or their job title. These are going to be long days, and they’ll still need to be enthusiastic at the end of each day. They’re going to need stamina.
4. Don’t forget that at a big show like IFFA Messe Frankfurt visitors get tired too – provide somewhere comfortable for them to sit and talk. Many a sales lead has been generated this way.
5. Branding – make sure everyone knows who you are, from the design of your booth to the pen you’re giving away.
6. Be sure to follow up on all the contacts you’ve made. Hold a review of the show to ensure you achieved your goals. Once the expense claims are in, take a hard look at the costs and take a view on whether you’ll be doing it all again next year.