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How Startups Can Get Traction by Attending Trade Shows

Posted by Neha De

September 23, 2019


Are trade shows worth it for your startup?

The answer is yes. While many businesses forgo trade shows for other forms of advertising, if you do this, you’re leaving money on the table.

Trade shows create an incredible opportunity for your startup to be seen. It’s a great place for people to try your product and see it in person.

What’s more, Meeting Professionals International found there’s a 40% close rate for meetings you have in person. Let’s say you’re selling hot tubs at a trade show – that’s 40% of your customers making a purchase.

That’s simply great marketing.

So, how can you make them work for you? Here's how startups can get traction by attending trade shows.

Pick the Right Event and the Right Spot

This is the old adage: location, location, location.

When choosing your trade shows for the year, make sure you pick ones that make sense for your product line. You want to ensure the right people for your business will be there.

Next, once you choose a show, you want to pick just the right location for your booth. Check out the layout. Ask the show sponsors.

In addition, consider choosing a spot close to where they’re serving food. After all, everyone will stop by there. Finally, we often recommend choosing the corner booth. These are bigger and take up more aisle space overall.

Have a Professional Display

Just as you plan your marketing strategy, you want to strategize your booth display. This is an investment as you’ll use it for all your tradeshows for at least the next year.

Count on a standard size booth area of either 10x10 or 10x20. If you intend to choose corner booths, the size will be bigger. Once you’ve picked your shows, take a look at their booth dimensions so you can design something that fits in all of them.

You don’t want a booth that is too crowded because you want people to come in and talk to you.

Consider hiring a professional to design your display. It should be eye-catching, attractive, and contribute to your overall sales goals and strategy. You also want to consider lighting and touches for your display area that are memorable.

Give Items Away

It’s always a good idea to take a sampling of your products for sale with you as well as some informational pieces. Consider giveaways as a way for people to keep your startup top of mind.

The goal here is to give people something to remember you by. Spend a little extra here as you don’t want them to throw it away. Make sure you brand it for your startup.

In addition, have people give you their email addresses for the give-away because this is a great way to build your email list. Doing this one step alone gives you a lot of traction from trade shows.

Getting the emails of potential customers allows you to visit with them weekly in their inbox.

Have Enough Staff On-Hand

You want to staff your booth as fully as you can. There’s nothing worse than having a line of people waiting to talk to you, and you can’t meet their needs.

In our very busy digital age, people won’t wait very long to talk to your startup, so be sure to have enough staff to cover your needs.

Take this opportunity to build trust with your potential customers. One way to do this is by recognizing them and showing them you value their time.

Final Thoughts

The trade show is a place where your startup can get traction. You are immediately visible to hundreds, and even thousands, of people who might otherwise not have known about your startup.

Traction is vital to the success of your new business. If you get this right, you can bet other things will fall into place.

The traction you get at trade shows translates into more business for your startup. In turn, you’ll attract more investors and a great team to work at your new company. 

Are you a new startup ready to succeed? Are you looking to get your new business off the ground and watch it rise to success? We are here for you. We can help answer your questions and guide you through the process. Outsource your HR duties, finances, payroll and more to us. Contact Escalon today to get started.

Image: Product School on Unsplash


Neha De
Neha De

Neha De is a writer and editor with more than 13 years of experience. She has worked on a variety of genres and platforms, including books, magazine articles, blog posts and website copy. She is passionate about producing clear and concise content that is engaging and informative. In her spare time, Neha enjoys dancing, running and spending time with her family.

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