If your customers don’t know your business, you’ll find it much harder to succeed with your venture. That holds true regardless of your target market or sector. Customers tend to gravitate towards businesses they are visible, familiar, and seem readily available. So how do you go out there and make your business known?  There are many ways in which you can promote your brand. One of the most rewarding marketing tactics is participation in international exhibitions and trade shows. 

Trade shows and other exhibiting opportunities offer companies a broad range of options to promote their products and services. They also allow brands to interact with customers directly by meeting them face-to-face. That’s a wonderful occasion for businesses that want to build that type of engagement. After all, customers attend such events because they’re actively interested in the sector and are possibly seeking new products. 

So how do you make the most of that opportunity? Here are X tips to help you gain valuable sales leads by effectively marketing at international exhibitions and trade shows.

1. Attract the attention of attendees

Businesses use many different marketing tools to attract customers to their booths. You have many options to choose from: leaflets, banners, giveaways, contests or prize drawings, or even interactive elements like touch screens you can use to demonstrate a product, show how your service works, or carry out a customer survey. That’s why it’s essential that you pick a unique mix of marketing tools for your booth to make it fun and engaging. Eye-catching banners, informative literature, and appealing contests will attract more people to your booth. 

2. Prepare your staff

Make sure that people operating your booth are knowledgeable about your company, have a good grasp of your new products and services, as well as market trends and competitors. They need all that knowledge to be able to carry out an engaging conversation with prospective customers and show off your company in the best light. Moreover, they need to be actively interacting with attendees, gathering information from them as part of your lead qualification survey, and visiting the booths of your competitors to see what they’re up to.

Expert tip: When attending an international conference, it’s still a good idea to hire locals as part of your booth staff. They’re well-versed in local market standards and know the language. They’ll make sure that no attendee is ignored and help you understand the needs of customers who can’t communicate easily in English to help you provide a better experience.

3. Mind the language

Speaking of languages, it’s a good idea to print your flyers, business cards, brochures and pamphlets in English – but also in the local language. It will give local attendees a sense of proximity to your brand. Design your exhibition stand in a way that makes it inviting for both local and international attendees. Depending on your target market, you may want to use the local language more than English. Make sure that your booth is well-organized and clutter-free – that will help all attendees focus on what matters most: your product and brand. 

4. Research your space

Businesses should always carry out in-depth research about their allotted space at an exhibition or trade show. Understand the dimensions of your space and pay attention to the brand that will be in your neighboring stands. That knowledge will help you come up with the best exhibition stand design that makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Learn whether the organizers will provide booth elements – that information will have a significant impact on the time and effort involved in setting up your booth. Note that getting exhibition stands and exhibits through customs is often a very challenging task. That’s why it’s smarter to rent some elements locally and team up with a reliable local exhibition stand builder.

5. Let everyone know

There’s no point in attending an exhibition without letting people know that you’re going to be there! Advertise your attendance at the trade directly through email to confirmed attendees. Announce it on your website and all social media platforms you use for promoting your products and services. You can organize special email campaigns, take advantage of your newsletter, write an article for your blog and add the information to your email 

6. Organize a contest

But the best way to announce that you’re going to an international exhibition is when the news comes with an extra: the announcement of a contest or prize drawing. This is just bound to attract more people to your booth. But you need to advertise it and let people know where your booth is located so they can find you easily.

Ask attendees to visit your booth and complete a leads qualification survey as a condition to be part of your contest or prize drawing. Choose a prize related to your business or something that your customers will consider appealing. Pick your prize carefully – remember that it can be a version of your product as well. That’s an excellent method for gaining new customers. And always follow-up with all the contacts once the exhibition is over. 

Use these tips to create a booth that stands out from the crowd and make the most out of every international exhibitions or trade show you attend. 

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