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Trade shows are industry-specific events that are sponsored by trade associations. They give companies the opportunity to demonstrate their new products and services. While some trade fairs are “public,” others are “trade only.” Trade only fairs are not open to the public and can only be attended by company representatives, members of the press, and businesses offering franchises and business packages for sale.
Trade show displays are a time and cost-effective way for businesses to publicize their products. For instance, they help save traveling costs as you can meet all industry partners and clients in one location. How can your start-up benefit from trade shows?
Benefits of trade shows for start-ups
Trade shows offer tons of benefits for start-ups including:
- The opportunity to meet key decision makers and buyers. Statistics show that 46% of the people who attend trade shows are in executive or upper management and 81% have buying authority. This means that you get to meet prospective customers and experienced managers who you can learn from.
- Business exposure: when your start-up stands out, the press will be interested to know more about it, which in turn, exposes more people to your start-up.
- Lead generation: one of the major advantages of trade shows is the opportunity to get the contacts of potential clients and investors for your start-up.
- Keep competitors in check: form trade shows, you can learn what your competitors are doing better than you and devise ways to improve your startup so as to stay ahead of the competitors.
How should start-ups prepare for trade shows?
If you are planning on just showing up in a trade show and doing a simple presentation, you are planning to fail. To wow the crowd, get press mentions, and win the hearts of investors, you ought to do some advance planning. The following tips will help you come up with a killer presentation:
Set clear goals
What do you want to accomplish by participating in the trade show? If you have an e-commerce start-up or a phone buying company like swiftech, your goals might be to find investors and new customers. Setting clear goals beforehand helps you measure your ROI and know if exhibiting has been successful.
Find out who’s attending
Ask the organizers how many people will be attending the trade show and if any direct competitors in your industry will be present. Also, find out which booths your competitors will be in and the methods they plan on using to attract people to their booths. In doing so, you can prepare better presentations and have an attractive booth that will grab the attention of buyers and the press.
Bring the right people
The people in your booth are the lifeline of your start-up during a trade show. People will look up to them to answer all the questions they have about your business. How they carry themselves will also attract attention to your booth. Therefore, they should be prepared beforehand to handle all questions professionally and have all answers about the features and benefits of your products at their finger-tips.
Safeguard your ideas from theft
Much as trade shows are beneficial, lots of start-ups have had their ideas stolen by bigger companies during these events. Ensure that you apply for a patent to prevent people from stealing your original ideas.
Trade shows can propel your start-up to the next level. For a successful exhibition, ensure that you do proper and prior preparations. Know which questions to anticipate and be ready to answer them. Finally, do not forget to think about your pricing and use social media to attract more attention to your start-up.