Tip for Coaches 1.13: Attend Trade Shows and Events to Attract New Customers, Vendors, and Partners

Promote your business by attending trade shows and other events where prospective customers, vendors and partners congregate.


1. Determine your goals for trade show attendance, such as obtaining sales leads, meeting potential strategic partners or finding new products for your store.

2. Create a list of trade shows, exhibitions and conferences at which you could benefit by exhibiting or attending. Decide whether you will attend as an exhibitor or an attendee.

3. Determine costs and consider your marketing budget.

4. If exhibiting:

a. Secure booth space well ahead of time. Ensure that your booth is properly. b.Find out what resources trade show management offers to help exhibitors, such as media lists, a website for posting exhibitors’ news, and special packages and pricing with service providers.

c. Ask trade show management about their PR plans and see if your company can be mentioned as an exhibitor or included in marketing materials. d. Consider advertising in the show editions of industry trade publications. e. If launching a new product or service at the show, develop a calendar of tasks to complete prior to the launch, including finalizing the launch press release and marketing materials, producing graphics or product photos, securing customer testimonials and performing media outreach.

f. Obtain the trade show media list and consider previewing your product for select journalists ahead of the event. g. Create a product page that can be updated quickly and easily. Populate the page with information about the launch, including marketing materials, the official launch release, photos, fact sheets and a link to encourage further communication.

h. Staff the booth with employees who can promote your business to attendees. i. Have your business’s marketing collateral on hand to distribute to attendees, including brochures and business cards. j. Collect business cards from attendees and follow up after the event.

4. If attending:

a. Register ahead of time. b. Obtain information about trade show or event layout, exhibitors, events and other attendees. Plan a strategy for achieving the goals you set for the show. c. Bring plenty of marketing collateral and business cards to distribute to prospective clients, customers and partners you meet. d. Collect business cards and follow up with leads within two weeks after the show or event.

5. Update your Marketing Plan to reflect your trade show strategy.

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