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How Small Businesses Can Achieve Trade Show Success

As an emerging company launching a revolutionary offering in the food production industry, your No. 1 goal is to sell, sell, sell. You have the opportunity to spotlight your product at one of the industry’s largest food trade shows. Marketing dollars are extremely limited so is this the right way to allocate a chunk of that money? And if yes, how do you make the biggest splash?

Consider this: According to CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face, 92 percent of trade show attendees say their main reason for attending trade shows is to see new products being featured. And, a Display Wizard SME survey reported that 71 percent of small and medium-sized businesses secured new opportunities using face-to-face networking at trade shows. With both sides agreeing on the value of trade show attendance, as a company, how do you make the most of this interaction?

While kitschy giveaways, paid models and eye-catching booth entertainers may seem like good ideas, if they are not directly contributing to a prospect getting to know your brand, your offering and customer benefits, skip the expense. The most important thing for visitors, especially as a company with a new product, is that you create a true booth experience for them, interacting one-on-one and being authentic and enthusiastic about your offering.

Omni-Rinse, a start-up company offering a unique three-in-one bar tool rinsing system, recently put its first trade show experience to the test at Chicago’s National Restaurant Association Show. By spotlighting its product with crisp video; engaging customers with compelling Omni-Rinse live product demonstrations; and promoting its selection as one of the show’s “Kitchen Innovator” award recipients, Omni-Rinse made a big impact.

By focusing on the industry-changing result of its offering, allowing booth attendees to hear directly from the inventor and founder of the company and being genuine in its approach to prospects, Omni-Rinse was able to continue the conversation post-show and win a few big customers. No dancing pandas required.


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