Making the Most of Every Trade Show

Are you attending one or more janitorial trade shows in the near future? Know what your business needs to do to make the experience worthwhile.

Every trade show brings something different to the table, but ultimately the goal of each show is generally the same: network and build relationships to make more money as a business.

Because attendees and exhibitors typically have this end-game in mind, here are a few tips for making the most of every trade show you attend:

  • Woman holding a clipboard

    Mine your database of contacts

    Look at contacts you made at previous events. Call, tweet, message and email to let them and even your current accounts know about your upcoming show. Encourage them to schedule an appointment to meet with you during the show.

    Put out a compelling message that will direct them to a website, making it as easy as possible for your contacts to provide their information and sign up for an appointment. Because you’ve already been in contact with them in the past, you can dive directly into strengthening that existing relationship and making that sale.

    Businessmen with a loudspeaker
  • Advertise any way possible

    Take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that are available to everyone. In our experience, LinkedIn has been particularly useful for reaching out to men and women in the cleaning industry.

    Encourage the people in your office to drop breadcrumbs wherever and whenever they can to create as many touch points and exposure as possible. Even something as simple as adding a short sentence (for example, “Join us at ISSA in Orlando!”) to your employees’ email signature can go a long way.

  • Learn as much as you can beforehand

    Become as familiar as possible with the area you will be visiting. You will be stressed to complete your objectives as it is, so take a few moments and familiarize yourself as much as possible with the area where you’ll be staying and working. Chances are there will be many others in the same situation as you at that particular venue, and not getting caught in their disorganized wake will save you a few gray hairs as you carry out your objective.

  • A business meeting

    Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

    Ever wonder why many couples have a rehearsal dinner before their wedding? Aside from the fun and other festivities associated with those things, you only get one shot at holding that wonderful ceremony, but you’ve unfortunately invited parents, friends and other loved ones to participate in your special moment. They have no idea how to act, or even where to be, to make sure things go smoothly.

    Giving folks a chance to get more comfortable with such a special event before the cameras are rolling can be invaluable when you’re trying to make the right impression. The trade show application here is simple: for any and all employees attending the trade show, set aside plenty of time before the show to make sure that you are all on the same page.

    Ask yourself: How should you be speaking to people? How do you qualify leads during the show? How do you close the sale despite only having met that person just an hour ago? Time spent this way is far more preferable than having each person try to figure it out on-the-spot during the show.

I can tell you that if you follow these tips, your team will be much better prepared for trade shows. For exhibitors especially, trade shows aren’t exactly cheap. As such, the time and effort put into properly preparing for these big events is definitely worth it.


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