The new rules for trade show and exhibition success

We are so lucky in Australia to be getting ‘back to normal’ and gathering in large numbers again.

However, in a post-COVID world, ‘normal’ looks very different to the way it did in 2019 and previous years. Change is inevitable but it also brings opportunity.

Here are some reasons why trade shows are definitely still relevant and how to evolve to make sure your stand gets noticed.

People love people

Who would have thought that the prospect of interacting with people face to face would become the exception rather than the norm?

After a year spent baking sourdough bread and cleaning our linen cupboards, people are looking for excuses to mingle and socialise. Where attending a trade show may have once seemed like a chore, it is now a special treat.

According to Astro Exhibitions, 80% of people who attend trade shows have buying power. As an exhibitor, you are giving yourself an advantage and making a personal connection with customers that phone calls and Zoom screens just can’t deliver.

Technology has evolved

Were you one of those people who avoided using QR codes in the past because you didn’t really ‘get’ them? Prior to 2020, you definitely weren’t alone but COVID made QR codes part of almost everybody’s everyday vernacular. We now approach doors and entryways with phones at the ready and understand how simple the technology is to use.

As a retailer or wholesaler at a trade show, you can take advantage of this. Pop a QR code at the front of your stand to give customers instant access to any of the following and more:

  • – Your website
  • – A feedback page
  • – A signup page or an enquiry form
  • – An event-specific landing page
  • – A page with a special discount code

Did you know you can add your logo and colours to a QR code to create a point of difference and boost brand recognition? It’s easy to do it for free; check out this link here to find out more.

Trade show tip: Be aware of physical contact

One idea is to produce some ‘NO HANDSHAKE PLEASE’ stickers to share at a tradeshow. Many people still instinctively reach out to make contact this way so a sticker is a good ice breaker.

Don’t forget to make physical distancing possible at your stand. Using a QR code, for example, instead of handing over a clipboard and form for someone to fill out their details is one strategy.

When you set up your stand, make sure it’s possible for people to be physically distant if they need to.

Trade show tip: Brush up on the rules

COVID restrictions vary state by state. Make sure you’re aware of the rules of attending and operating at an event before you arrive.

You may wish to reference this COVID Safe Operating Framework from the Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia here.

Trade show tip: Brush up on the financial kick-backs

Many Australian business owners are unaware of the grants they can access due to COVID.

Depending on your industry, do some research before you set up your trade show stand. You may be able to explain to your potential clients how they can use an expense as a tax deduction or access a grant which will minimise the financial outlay.

Branded information sheets will help decision-makers move more quickly towards a purchase. This is a great way to stand out at a trade show and show your clients you understand their opportunities as well as their challenges.

Trade show tip: Masks = opportunity

The rules about masks seem to change weekly. Where we all once carried them around, it is now easy to forget to pack your facemask.

Branded facemasks make sense for trade show merchandise. Even if people don’t wear them on-site, they will probably be grateful to have one for the trip home. You might even want to have some branded hand sanitiser bottles as giveaways… they are free trade show merchandise everyone appreciates in today’s world.

Don’t forget the trade show merchandise

Your branded merchandise doesn’t all have to be COVID-related. As you reconnect with your clients face-to-face, a branded gift that is relevant to your potential client can strengthen the relationship and help you stand out at a trade show.

Make your trade show merchandise even more meaningful by creating personalised promotional products on the spot. A brilliant new way to capture leads through monogramming and or engraving.

Speak to Honeycomb Agency for ideas that will resonate with your customers and set your brand apart at your next trade show.

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