At ColinKurtis, we’re gearing up for our favorite time of year: we call it IFT for short, but its full name is the Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo. Why are we so excited? Because IFT is the largest food ingredients show in the world. It features our food ingredient clients and is filled to the brim with the latest information, technology, developments and lots of creative energy.
ColinKurtis knows trade shows. And, we know that along with great power, they can bring you great angst. We’re all about improving your trade show experience, and like every great strategy, a better, more effective trade show experience begins with a plan.
Here are 20 ways to get you started, so your next trade show is a success!
1. Evaluate your trade show participation every 4th quarter—are you going to the right shows to get results?
2. Stand out in the crowd—with a great location and a booth that delivers a focused message based on your marketing goals.
3. What’s new? Attendees are looking for what’s new, so update or refresh your graphics package every year.
4. What’s your story? Have a fresh new story to share with the media and customers to get their interest.
5. Leave a little something behind—it’s ok if it’s a throwaway, just as long as they remember you.
6. Know what you want—set a goal for quality contacts, and make sure your team knows the number.
7. Direct mail—target high potential customers with a pre-show direct mail piece.
8. Email—target a complete list of potential customers with an email blast encouraging or incentivizing them to come visit your booth.
9. Get and set appointments—as many as you can prior to the show, with a set day, time and a goal for the discussion.
10. Know what attendees are looking for in your booth—printed information, samples, prototypes—and have those items available.
11. Promote your booth number everywhere you can by adding it to your ads, email signatures, and eblasts for 2 months prior to the show.
12. Be coordinated -whether it’s theme-related, purely professional, or business casual, your team should be dressed accordingly.
13. Inform the media—editors from key trade publications come to tradeshows, so reach out to them and set times to meet at your booth.
14. Use social media before, during, and after the show—LinkedIn and Twitter are great vehicles for promoting your booth location and activities.
15. Make the most of it—make sure to staff your booth with energetic people who get out front and pull people in.
16. Provide your staffers key questions that induce further conversation.
17. Get carded—make sure staffers have business cards on them and have key contact cards available if someone is not there.
18. Collect contact information—don’t forget to scan those badges.
19. All leads should be followed up on within 1-2 weeks after a show. Each lead should be tracked all the way through to potential sales.
1-20. Have ColinKurtis help you check off your list!
Headed to IFT16? Let’s get together. Just contact our New Account Development Manager Mitch at 815.965.6657 ext. 1 or email@example.com.