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Pt 4 – A Fair To Remember – Surviving Your First Trade Fair

Part 4 – After The Fair

Exhibiting at your first Trade Fair can be an exciting and profitable experience. With proper planning you can gain valuable exposure in the market and skyrocket your growth and profits. The previous article discussed how you can make the most of being at the Fair. This article discusses how you can maximize the success of the Fair after it’s over.

After the Fair:

One of the most important things that you should do after attending your first Trade Fair, and actually after every following Fair is reflect upon what you have learned from the experience. I wrote this article, as it has literally been days since we finished exhibiting and I wanted to put down on paper what I have learned. I suggest after your exhibit at your first Trade Fair you too write a list of what you have gained and learned from it.
Some of the things that I have learned from attending our very first Trade Fair are:

  1. Evolution: Don’t expect everything to be perfect the first time – it’s an evolutionary process. You can always improve next time on how you put together your stand. I know that for instance we will streamline further the way we present ourselves.
  2. Knowledge is power: The knowledge we gained from speaking with customers and fellow exhibitors has given us valuable feedback into our product, and a deeper insight  on the industry we are in.
  3. Networking: During the Fair we had an opportunity in the quiet times to network with our business contacts and fellow exhibitors.
  4. Follow up leads: The work at the Fair doesn’t end at the Fair but begins after the Fair. It is a time to follow up on leads and create new customers and sales.
  5. Patience: Don’t expect every lead you speak with to place an order then an there. You need to remember that the Trade Fair may be the first ‘touch point’ that you have had with them. It often takes 4 ‘touch points’ before a customer will feel motivated enough to do business with you. A ‘touch point’ is a point where the customer hears about you. They may hear about you through word of mouth from a satisfied client, they may seen an ad or editorial in a magazine or newspaper, or they may have personally come across your product in a competitor’s shop. The Trade Fair is just another of these ‘touch points’. Your next ‘touch point’ with the customer may be when you call or email to follow up on them. They may then be receptive to place an order.
  6. Be Realistic: It’s important to keep your feet on the ground when you are planning to attend a Trade Fair. Have realistic projections about sales and focus more on creating brand awareness and lead generation. One can easily be disappointed if one creates unrealistic expectations on expected sales. Remember that a Trade Fair is not the silver bullet that will automatically and instantly increase your revenue. It is just one of the weapons in your arsenal that you have at your disposal.

Trade Fairs take a lot of organizing and are a great opportunity to create better exposure for your business and help it to grow as you have a focused audience. I hope our experiences will help you to successfully exhibit at your first Trade Fair.

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