There is a lot more that goes into successfully exhibiting at a trade show than many first-time exhibitors realize. Once you make the decision to invest in a booth at a trade show, however, it only makes sense to make the most out of the time and resources that you put into your show presence. On show days, it can seem like some exhibitors have it made when you witness the consistent buyer traffic and order-writing happening in their booths. Yet, the truth is that the most successful exhibitors started putting in work well before the show even started to achieve maximum traffic flow.  

Keeping this in mind, how can you strengthen your next trade show investment and increase foot traffic to your booth? To help, here are five steps you can take to capture and keep buyer attention…ultimately helping you increase your ROI at ASD Market Week and any other trade show you may participate in.

#1. Invest in Images that Make an Impact

Retail is a highly visual industry. The images that you share of your products throughout the year can help generate interest and make your booth a must-see destination for buyers on show days. As a result, achieving quality images to share with buyers before the show is a must. Ways to do this include a DIY approach using your smartphone with strong photo staging and editing apps, or hiring a photographer with professional experience shooting your type of products. Whatever option you decide to go with, compare your product images to your best-in-class competitors to ensure that your images have all the key components necessary to create a buzz with buyers.

#2. Reach Out to Buyers Before the Show

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again. Creating a successful exhibitor experience includes pre-show prep that includes reaching out to buyers before your market begins. Snag their attention via email marketing, social media, personalized calls and other outreach strategies to ensure you have their attention, as well as letting them know where your booth will be located and welcoming them to stop by for a complimentary bottle of water or other incentives to help encourage them to visit you. Another tip? Set up appointments beforehand and make sure to order plenty of comfortable seating for your booth to create a relaxed, inviting environment.

#3. Staff Your Booth with the Right Amount of People

Staffing your booth with too many or too few employees can deter potential buyers from engaging with your staff. Overstaffing your booth can make it look too busy – or worse, give a vibe that you have employees ready to work but no one wanting to work with you – and yet understaffing leads to missed sales opportunities. So, what’s the right number of employees to staff for a given booth location? Exhibitor Magazine’s Trade Show Planning Guide suggests staffing 2 employees per 100 square feet of floor space. Review your strategy and consider what makes sense for your business. Reflecting on past shows can help you prepare for this as well.

#4. Verse Your Employees on Product Selling Points

Even if you staff your booth with incredible employees, they can’t be as effective as possible at selling your inventory if they aren’t aware of the key selling points for your specific products. Every employee you hire should know how to approach buyers, 3-5 key points about each of your products and know about packages and shipping details on customer orders. Your employees should be ready to stand alone and make sales for your company – plain and simple. After all, revenue is lost whenever a potential buyer has to wait for you to return to your booth or finish up with another customer. Therefore, empower all your representatives to confidently be able to sell, sell, sell.

#5. Make Networking Your Top Priority

Some of the most important connections you make on the show floor come from the contacts you already have. As a result, make it a priority to keep in touch with the contacts you meet at ASD between shows to keep your brand at the forefront of your buyers’ minds on show day. Continually engage with buyers online and follow up on large orders to be sure your buyers are satisfied with your products. Additionally, create a business card that ties to your company’s branding and color scheme to stand out from your competitors.

The key to having a successful trade show every time is maintaining consistent engagement with buyers throughout the year. Once you learn to make this lasting dialogue with clients a priority, you will be amazed at the level of traffic and revenue you’re able to generate on a show floor such as ASD.

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Take advantage of ASD Market Week’s 90+ free retail strategy sessions this July 29-August 1, 2018 in Las Vegas.

By  Nicole Leinbach Reyhle,