5 Ways to Crush the Bigger Competition at Trade Shows

5 ways

While some argue that trade shows are becoming an outdated form of marketing, they often offer valuable times for small to mid-size companies to showcase their products and services.  However this also exposes smaller companies to bigger industry competitors.  Competition at shows can often become quite brutal, especially in tough economic times.  This means that smaller organizations need to be faster, more creative, and more knowledgeable to combat the resources that the big companies have.  Here are 5 ways to beat the big competition at trade shows.

1.  Promote with creativity

How can you effectively attract people to your booth when there are hundreds of other booths selling the same products?  Try to think of a contest or “mini event” that you can do in your booth.  Have a prize wheel, hook-up speakers, get excited and grab people that are walking by.

2.  Turn booth into workshop

Instead of just showcasing your products on some slat wall, invite attendees to engage in concentrated discussions and activities on your product.  Teach them how to effectively use your products and let try them.  Let them ask the questions and answer each question truthfully.

3.  Generate Buzz about Show Internally

Make the rest of your company aware of your upcoming show; and get them excited about it!  Use their connections to your benefit and encourage them to talk about the show to their networks.  If they’re on the sales team they should be setting up one-on-one meetings or dinners.  If they’re in marketing they should be promoting the show on their personal and corporate social media accounts.  Internal support can go along way with little effort.

4. Digitalize!

Try not to have too much paper (ex.  Brochures, pamphlets, print outs) at your booth and get rid of all those literature racks.  Rather invest in giveaways such as USBs pre-loaded with relevant brochures or use tablets to email attendees only the information they want.

5.  Sponsor an Event

Host a coffee break, happy hour, networking event, or anything that involves food and drinks.  This is usually cheaper than being an event sponsor, but allows your brand to be seen.