Keep Your Friends Close and Your Competition Closer

The tradeshow floor is filled with hundreds of prospects waiting to meet you.  Unfortunately, the floor is also filled with booths after booths of your competition, scoping out your potential clients and trying to woo them over to their side.  A good agent always keeps track of his contacts – friend or foe – so how do you make the most of sharing the room with your competition?

Investigation: Send out spies to see what other companies are doing to draw a crowd.  Maybe you’ll find an idea that inspires you to try something new at the next show!

Make Friends:  You’re still going to be competing with these people no matter what, so why not make friends with the employees?  You never know who could be working for your competition.  Maybe there’s the ideal employee for you sitting unhappily at the table down the aisle, working for the wrong company!

Find References: Maybe you can’t help a potential client with a particular order.  Try to snoop around and find out which companies are at the show, so you will be able to refer your prospect to someone who can.  Even though you can’t help them this time, your prospect will remember how helpful you were and might think of you in the future for other orders.

Even though you may be competing for clients, you can still have a good working relationship with the other vendors at a show.  You never know when having an extra contact in the business might come in handy!

Mission: Trade Show

So you’ve bought your booth space for the next trade show?  How much is it really costing you though? With the cost of displays, salaries for employees manning the booth, and promotional items, you are probably spending too much to risk an unsuccessful show, but how can you be certain your booth will draw in the contacts necessary to make your time and money worthwhile?

Think ahead.  Every good spy knows the importance of useful contacts.  You wouldn’t go into an important top secret mission without knowing who to meet, so why would you go to a trade show without knowing potential clients? Reach out through social media and try to find, and get to know, other people who will be there so you have leads before you even walk in the door.

Creativity.  Draw a crowd with a game or video.  Find a clever way to draw people into your booth that pertains to your particular business.  Anything that will help you establish a more personal relationship with potential clients is fair game, so be creative!

Effective Displays.  Small booths can be spectacular! Get creative with graphics and eye catching displays that will stand out from the rest.