How to Succeed at Trade Shows


Going to any trade shows this year? Check out these trade show success tips from three cleaning industry leaders.

Are you attending another trade show or two before the end of the year? Maybe even ISSA/INTERCLEAN in Chicago?

Will this be your first time at a trade show or would you consider yourself a “veteran” already?

No matter how many times you’ve been or whatever trade show you might be going to, it is vital that you, as an attendee, follow the best procedures and strategies in order to make your trade show visits profitable and worth your time.

And who better to ask than cleaning industry leaders who have years of experience with trade shows themselves? Three in particular have generously offered their time and expertise to give you some suggestions.

Lisa Veeck, director of media communications and publications for ISSA, had one overall piece of advice:

Whether this is your first time or you’re a veteran, … the single biggest thing you can do to ensure a successful show is to really “get into it.” Stop, talk and learn from the exhibitors… The exhibitors are truly there to help you overcome your challenges and provide real solutions.

Attend the educational sessions — and ask questions! You will leave with more knowledge and real-world tactics and insights than you can imagine!

Of course, attend the “planned events,” … but don’t miss the unplanned opportunities. Strike up a conversation with the person next to you, wherever you are.

Lisa Macqueen, founder and CEO of Cleaning Marketer, offered tips, based on her five-year experience of attending and speaking at cleaning industry trade shows:

Trade shows can be overwhelming. People everywhere, exhibitors keen to get you into their booths to show you the latest technology or cleaning gadgetry, and miles and miles of exhibition space to conquer.

So to make the most of your time at the show, here are three quick tips:

  1. Check out the exhibitor list and map before you go. That way you can decide which stands are going to be the best for you, and navigate to them easily.
  2. Think about new innovations and technology in the cleaning industry. If your cleaning business is still operating in the “dark ages,” consider meeting with suppliers who offer more modern cleaning options and technology.
  3. Try and get to the exhibition on the first day. All the exhibitors are full of energy and enthusiasm, and there’s always a great “first day” buzz that’s contagious!
  4. And here’s a final tip — network! There’s always a coffee area or a business lounge; go up and introduce yourself and meet some new like-minded people — or go and take in a free presentation from an industry expert. You just might discover a great new opportunity!

Ron Segura, a 45-year veteran of the cleaning industry and president of Segura and Associates, shared what attendees should do during and after a trade show. His advice comes from over 40 years of attending trade shows:

Gaining the best ROI from attending a trade show necessitates checking with your staff about their needs (chemicals, technology, etc.) and having a strategy when hitting the trade show floor.

On return to your organization, meet with your staff and discuss the items of interest. Arrange for an on-site demo from the manufacturer. All staff members who requested information at the trade show or talked about their needs beforehand should be at this meeting.

We hope these tips from cleaning industry leaders help you and your business staff succeed as trade show attendees.

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