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Make the Most of Your Trade Show Appearance

Make the Most of Your Trade Show Appearance

Deciding to invest time, energy, and money into a trade show appearance is a big decision. While it presents an opportunity to secure new customers, leading to higher sales, it can also result in losses if you can’t convert visitors into buyers.

To help ensure you get the most out of your trade show investment, here are some tips designed to give you the best experience possible.

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Choose the Right Trade Show

The first step to a great trade show experience is picking the right one. Begin your search by focusing on shows that are for the product or service you are offering. You can use basic web searches to get you started, but you may be able to save time by connecting with industry associations related to your product or service. If you are interested in smaller shows, your local Chamber of Commerce may have information regarding nearby events.

Once you have a few in mind, do your research regarding the standard visitor. Some larger shows attract a lot of attention but do not necessarily bring in a lot of potential customers. Often, the show manager can provide you information regarding the previous years to help you determine if the event is a good fit.

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Determine Your Goal                   

You shouldn’t participate in a trade show without a clear goal in mind. Participating in the event requires an investment of time and money, so it is important to focus on what you intend to accomplish. For example, you may prioritize sales, generating press, demonstrating a new product, or simply building a rapport with customers. By understanding why you are there, you can keep all of your efforts working in a primary direction throughout your time at the trade show.

Staff Appropriately

At a minimum, you need at least one other person to support your trade show booth. This allows you each to take breaks when needed or steal a moment to check out the competition, without running the risk of leaving your space unattended. Larger events, with a high number of visitors, may require more personnel so that potential customers can be addressed in a timely fashion.

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Make sure your staff is knowledgeable about the product or service, and fully apprised of your goals regarding the event. Focus on being friendly, upbeat, and approachable. It is wise for you and your staff to be easily identified as representing your company, so a standardized uniform, or a coordinated look with name tags, help separate your employees from the visitors.

Promote the Event

Part of your success is dependent on the success of the event overall. Make an effort to advertise your intent to attend as well as noting the name of the show. Mailing and email lists can be quite effective, though you may yield better results by contacting your top customers over the phone.

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If appropriate, contact any local press about the event. Send out press releases to highlight noteworthy portions of the exhibit, especially if you intend to unveil a new offering during the trade show. Consider creating press kits and have them brought to the event’s press room area to raise your chances of being covered.

Design Your Display

The quality of your trade show display is vital to your success. You need to keep your space well-organized while also taking the time to make it visually attractive. While having some high-impact visual elements can bring in visitors, avoid overloading the senses with too many graphical details. Make sure you include one large graphic that can be recognized at a distance. Any takeaway materials need to be highly accessible and easy to identify.

Make Follow Up Easy

Prior to the event, create a follow-up mailer, email, or newsletter. That way, you already have the content you need immediately after the show. When collecting contact information, determine a centralized method for consistency. You can even use a giveaway as a method for collecting potential customer data, allowing the information to be provided directly by the visitor and deposited in a specific place.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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