10 handy tips to make the most of your next trade fair
You’ve just registered to take part in a trade fair, market or event… Exciting times ahead! But now the question is, how do you stand out among all those other great resellers? How do you entice visitors to stop by and, better even, buy your products? Natascha Klootsema, co-owner of the online shopping portal Flavourites.nl and the Flavourites Live event for online stores, shares her ten useful tips & tricks.
1. Inform your fans
In the run-up to the event, inform your visitors and fans about your plans. Use your online store, social media channels and newsletters to share which (special) items you’ll be taking along to the event and why they should definitely pop by. In a nutshell, your participation goes beyond the event itself. Use the days, weeks or even months before to rally your fans around you!
2. Design your stand
Take your time to think about your stand set-up. Make some sketches, get inspired on Pinterest and at other trade fairs or markets, and ensure you use every inch of your stand or stall wisely, leaving enough open space for your visitors to browse your range.
Tip: if you have a market stall, also use the side poles to hang your products. If you have a stand, be smart and use the side walls to showcase your brand name and your products. And above all, be original!
3. Less is more
It’s not easy to choose which products to take along. You can’t take too little, because what if customers ask for that one item you didn’t bring? But then again, you can’t take too much either, because you simply haven’t got the space to showcase all your products properly. The solution lies somewhere in between. You need to make sure the products on display reflect the range available in your online store. Definitely take a few bestsellers with you. Have you got any limited-edition products or are you about to launch new products? Trade fairs are the ideal location to showcase them. And why not throw in a special trade-fair discount?
4. Choose a set-up that suits your product
The best stands are those that just ‘get it’. A jewelry line that uses pastel shades calls for a stand featuring those same colors. Or how about an online store specializing in vintage furniture whose owner is wearing a vintage outfit? That’s right, the key to success is an original look that truly stands out! Market and trade-fair visitors like to take pictures and share them on social media. Now wouldn’t it be fun to see your stand go viral?
5. Get someone to join you
It’s always best to ask someone to join you at events, particularly if they last several days. A quick toilet break, unloading your stock from the car or buying some drinks and snacks? It all becomes quite difficult if you’re on your own and no one can take over. And let’s be honest, it’s a lot more fun to go with a friend or colleague, rather than on your own!
6. Reward your visitors
If people take the trouble of visiting your stand, you definitely want to thank them. Looking for fun ideas to reward them? You could organize a competition, offer them a goodie bag or discount if they subscribe to your newsletter, or give them a special trade-fair discount if they buy a specific product. Needless to say, you need to highlight these rewards in advance via your website, newsletters and/or social media.
7. Show them who you are!
It’s not uncommon to come across a fantastic trade-fair stand, but wonder which online store is actually behind it. And that’s a pity, because you shouldn’t take part in trade fairs, markets and/or events with the sole intention to sell, but also to spread the word on who you are and what you do (branding). How? It’s very easy… Ensure your URL and/or the name of your online store are clearly visible, both at the stand and from a distance, so that people who don’t make it to your stand (e.g. because it’s too busy or crowded) still see your name.
8. Get rid of junk
Your stand should be clean and tidy. Of course it’s convenient to store your stock in boxes, but they’re quite unsightly, aren’t they? So no boxes or stuffed bags in full view, please. Showcase your products in a clear, orderly fashion.
9. From offline to online
Hand visitors your business card or flyer and give them a nice discount if they place an order within a few days from the event. Don’t forget to tell them when they’re visiting your stand. Chances are, later that week you’ll see them again in your online store!
10. An enthusiastic, dynamic approach
Have you noticed that if a stand is manned by a person who looks exhausted, it attracts fewer visitors? An enthusiastic, dynamic and positive approach really does sell! So leave those uncomfortable heels at home and wear a pair of comfortable sneakers instead. Proudly tell your customers all about your business and your products, and never forget to smile. Simply put, share your passion and make an unforgettable impression! This is the prime opportunity for you come into contact with (potential) customers, who are keen to find out who’s behind that great online store. Don’t disappoint them!