Mastering the Art of Preparing for Major Trade Shows: A Salesperson’s Guide


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Unleashing Your Marketing Magic

Participating in major trade shows like NACS or CES opens the door to outstanding opportunities for marketing agency salespeople like yourself. These events offer a chance to showcase your services, connect with industry leaders, and establish valuable partnerships. However, making the most out of these significant gatherings requires careful planning and strategic preparation.

From pre-show planning to post-show follow-up, we've got you covered with tips to maximize your trade show success. In this article, Hollywood Branded shares the essential steps to ensure the right navigation of trade shows like CES, in order to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Mastering the Art of Preparing for Major Trade Shows: A Salesperson’s Guide

Your step by step guide

To help you make the most of these events, we've outlined a step-by-step guide to ensure your success. From setting clear objectives to strategic networking and effective follow-up, these tips will help you navigate trade shows like CES with confidence and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

  • Set Clear Objectives:
    Before delving into the logistics, outline your goals for attending the trade show. Whether it's generating leads, establishing (*mutually beneficial*) partnerships, or gaining industry insights, having clear objectives will guide your overall strategy.

  • Research and Know Your Audience:
    Understand the demographics of the trade show attendees and exhibitors. Tailor your pitch and marketing materials to resonate with the specific needs and interests of this audience. What could they ask? Which of your services could be of most use and interest to them? What additional information could they ask for?

  • Secure Your Space:
    If your agency is exhibiting, securing a prime location is crucial. The earlier you book your booth, the better. Ensure your booth design is visually appealing and aligned with your brand identity. Make sure your booth isn't located next to your (even bigger) competitor. Turn your booth into the must see for everyone  attending the show.

  • Create Compelling Marketing Materials:
    Develop eye-catching brochures, business cards, and any promotional materials well in advance. Make sure your messaging is concise, highlighting your agency's unique selling points and the value you bring to clients. Speaking from my experience, having physical business cards in addition to the digital ones is crucial - people don't bring their phones, run out of power, or close the tab the second the conversation is over. Having a remarkable business card that people hold on to makes you stand out from the crowd.

  • Leverage Social Media:
    Start building anticipation for your attendance on social media platforms. Share sneak peeks, announcements, and engage with industry influencers. Use event-specific hashtags to increase your visibility.

  • Do Outreach and Schedule Meetings in Advance:
    Major trade shows are a whirlwind of activity, and last-minute scheduling can be challenging. Reach out to potential clients or partners beforehand to secure meeting times. Utilize scheduling tools to streamline the process. Clear your calendars of anything else that can wait until after the trade show buzz is over.

  • Stay Informed about Industry Trends:
    Stay ahead of the curve by researching and understanding the latest trends in the marketing and technology sectors. This knowledge will position you as an informed and valuable resource during discussions.

  • Prepare a Stellar Elevator Pitch:
    Craft a succinct and compelling elevator pitch that clearly communicates your agency's value proposition. I've had the most unexpected moments turn into sales conversations - you never know when you might meet a potential client or collaborator, so be ready to make a memorable impression at a moment's notice.

  • Network Strategically:
    Attend networking events (aka trade show afterparties) and engage in conversations with purpose. Quality connections often outweigh quantity. Be genuine, listen actively, and seek opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations.

  • Follow-Up Post-Event:
    The work doesn't end when the trade show concludes. Honestly, the in my opinion most crucial part of a successful trade show is the follow up with the contacts you made, sending personalized messages and any promised information promptly. This post-event engagement is vital for nurturing relationships, and can decide over being forgotten, or continuing the conversation.


How to Design Your Trade Show Booth - Superior Expo Services

Photo Credit: Superior Expo Services

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MaximizING Trade Show Success

Participating in major trade shows as a marketing agency salesperson can be a game-changer for your business. This January, our team at Hollywood Branded attended the 2024 CES show in Las Vegas. This is one of the biggest trade shows there are, which means that approaching it with clear goals, strategic planning, and a proactive mindset can maximize its impact, turning not only CES, but every trade show into a springboard for new opportunities and long-term success. Prepare diligently, stay adaptable, and embrace the incredible possibilities that these events have to offer.

CES 2024Photo Credit: Digital Trends

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