Happy New Year! It's officially trade show season across the US and as our team prepares to attend some of the larger shows this year, we thought it was selfish not to share. Whether you're an exhibitor or attendee, here are a few things to keep in mind to help you stay organized and minimize your post-show follow ups.
Refining Your Elevator Pitch
While we're sure this doesn't piece of advice doesn't come as a surprise, we wanted to provide additional insight into what we've found to be the most relevant talking points to think about when revamping your elevator pitch:
What's the product?
Be clear--it's not always readily apparent to someone new to your field or industry.
Who is it for?
Clearly articulate the product's intended audience or target market. New moms? Kids 8-12? Executives? Professionals? This information can help determine appropriate fit just as much as the product's intended use.
Why would someone buy your product? What purpose does it serve?
What need does your product meet? What niche does it fill? Why did you develop it and why is it important to you? Are there any "off label" or alternative use cases?
Where can consumers purchase your product?
Describe your distribution. Is your product still in development? Are you only selling direct to consumers through your website's online store? Do you work with a distributor? Are you in local, regional or national brick and mortar stores? Are you on Amazon or eBay? How's it going? Are any channels over- or underperforming relative to the rest?
Are you ready to ship?
Is the product ready to ship tomorrow? Are you still prototyping or garnering interest and funding? Make sure this is information is readily available and keep in mind that when it comes to product deadlines, under promise and overdeliver: don't push up the availability date if you're not confident production can keep this promise.
Help us gauge the size of your business: how sophisticated are your operations and logistics? Do you have product in warehouses across the country? Are you packing products by hand to fill customer orders?
Managing Business Cards
For any event where you plan to hand out business cards, label your business cards with the name of event -- whether you stick on a printed label or just write it on the back of the card, this eliminates the post-con game of "When did I talk to XYZ? What was the context of our conversation?" and ensures that anyone who ends up with your card can immediately identify when and where you met.
If you're on the receiving end, the same idea applies: if the name of the show or conference isn't already present, jot it down on the back along with any other notes from the conversation. The next step is following through on these connections as soon as possible--we really can't stress expediency enough. We know how crazy these shows can be and it's not unreasonable to be concerned about getting lost in someone's inbox backlog, but just like thank you notes, timeliness is key.
The old adage of "You never know who you're talking to" is not often more relevant than at a trade show or conference. We're not talking about being kind to strangers--we know you've got that down-- but about making connections in the least likely of places.
Make friends with neighboring exhibitors--even competitors. Yes, even the competition. Whether it's having someone to watch over the booth so you can walk the show for a few minutes or a future co-packer, you never know who has a connection you'll need to leverage down the road.
Now, go get 'em, tiger!
Manager, Client Experience
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