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Tips for Trade Show Success

Tips for Trade Show Success

No matter the size of your company, or how long you’ve been in business, trade shows are essential for companies you to grow distribution and also your customer base. Contrary to what lots of entrepreneurs believe, big budgets don’t always equate to big successes at trade shows, so instead of simply opening your checkbook, read these five tips for trade show success:

1. Train your staff

As a business owner, you probably want to be involved with every conversation and interaction that takes place at the trade show; you can’t be everywhere at once. Because of this, it’s important to have a prepared and well-trained staff. Team members that will work the trade show need to walk a fine line between being assertive and friendly.

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Product or service features should be second nature to them, and they should be able to speak knowledgeably and professionally on these subjects. What are the goals of attending this trade show? How do you want it to impact your business? Decide this prior to attending, and make sure all employees are on the same wavelength.

2. Wow your audience

Potential customers attend trade shows to see the latest and greatest of the industry. Make a splash at your next trade show by showing something new. Not every business will be ready to introduce a new product or service offering at a trade show, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wow factor. Choose to focus on something that you haven’t featured yet, so customers that are unfamiliar with your brand may view it as new anyways.

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Another alternative would be to talk about upcoming products or services, even if you have nothing to show. Mentioning what your company is planning down the road shows you have long-term goals and a direction, a positive for potential customers.

3. Make it worthwhile

Draw attention to your trade show space by holding a contest. When people choose to enter your content, have part of the entry process be a contact form so you can collect their information. For more serious customers, hold special deals that only apply for transactions made the day of the event in order to motivate people to make a decision quickly. At popular trade shows, you have to stand out against the spaces around you in order to draw attention. By offering giveaways or special promotions, you’ll have a competitive edge against others around you.

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4. Brand your booth

Trade show attendees should walk by your space and immediately be able to identify your brand. No matter the size or space you occupy at a trade show, there are a number of opportunities for you to incorporate branding and make an impact. Make sure there is proper signage so visitors from every direction will be able to clearly see your logo. Create custom giveaway items, letterheads and t-shirts or polos for your team to wear that clearly display your branding.

5. Follow-Up

No matter how well the trade show went or how many people you connected with, you won’t truly have a successful experience unless you remember to follow-up after the day of the trade show. All of your efforts at the trade show should have left you with a number of leads to call upon afterwards. Thank them for spending time in your space at the trade show, and ask them for a follow-up meeting to further discuss opportunities. Don’t wait for the leads to find you again, you have to be the initiator of this second conversation.

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Looking to grow your business? Consult with the experts at Mr. Checkout Distributors for more information on expanding your product’s distribution.

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Joel Goldstein

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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