Live events represent some of your single best opportunities to get a face to face with people that matter. Business partnerships can be forged and long-time customers born from a good trade show or launch.

But that’s only if you get it right. If you get it wrong, it’s just as likely that you’ll be ignored or even actively avoided. So here’s how you get your next event spot on.

Get on the hype train

As you might have imagined, getting the best out of any trade show or business event starts well before you attend it. You need to start running along with hype to build anticipation of your attendance and what you’re going to be showing there.

If you have a new product or service coming out, make that show the chance that people get to get a sneak peek at it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get coverage of the event, either. Content marketing and using free media outreach can be all the signal boosting you need.

Have some presence

Showing up at an event isn’t enough. It’s all about how you actually show up. Someone with a plain table and some leaflets on it isn’t as likely to get the attention of another attendant with full media walls at their booth. Similarly, consider what kind of ‘vibe’ your team is giving off.

One piece of advice you might consider is taking the time to get to know the others at your neighbouring booth. Be friendly with them, chat with them in your downtime so attendants can see that you’re approachable.

Give good swag

Never let it be said that free stuff doesn’t have the power to do you some real good. Everyone who attends a trade show is likely to give out some sort of swag. But the kind of swag you give out has a real impact.

For instance, giving out mints is a pleasant idea. However, they have a short lifespan and people won’t be keeping them for very long. On the other hand, a USB drive with your details on it could be used for weeks and even months.

Meaning every now and then, the person who receives it will have a reason to look at your marketing and contact details. Being ever present and helpful is what you want from your swag.

Following up

Swag might remind people to get in contact with you, but you should be doing that yourself. Honour your agreements to ‘chat later’. Even just sending a follow-up email can be enough to display that you’re a business that puts in that little bit of extra effort.

Besides, you don’t want to miss opportunities. Like those where someone has forgotten your contact details and really wants to become a customer.

You need to plan for your next event not just as an opportunity, but a timeline of different opportunities. How do you benefit before, during and after? We hope the tips above have helped you figure it out.

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