Trade show preparation
These trade show tips will assist with your preparation when attending a trade show in Australia and overseas, ensuring you maximise your investment and participation.
Get with the program
Know the trade show program and key dates inside out to ensure you don’t miss out on any opportunities.
What to take
- Your delegate name badge
- Your appointment schedule – don’t miss an opportunity to slot in a key appointment
- Pen / paper – don’t rely on your memory at trade shows, they are a busy few days
- Business cards
- Water – replenish frequently
At your booth you may also want to have:
- Stationery kit (pens, paper, stapler, staples, scissors)
- Your presentation on an iPad, laptop or similar
- A reference copy of your marketing material (e.g. brochure)
Know what you want to achieve
Make sure you set objectives such as:
- Making a specific number of new contacts
- Meeting a set number of existing clients
- Gaining competitive information
- Discovering trends in the market place
- Supporting existing trade partners
Ensure your website is up-to-date
Consider where your buyers may look for information about you. Is your website the best that it could be? Are your reservations teams aware of the event and the importance of presenting your product impeccably? Is your booking system up-to-date?
Invest the time in pre-trade show research
- Print and review your booking system reports showing sales by buyer and comparing them with the previous year. Clearly identify the buyers where you can see growth, and the buyers whose sales have declined. This will form the basis of your discussions with existing clients, and also assist with your appointment preferences for the trade show.
- Know where you are brochured and/or listed online.
- Review the delegate lists and identify new opportunities.
- Determine how your product may fit within the buyers existing product selection/portfolio.
- Know as much background information as possible about the buyers and the current market conditions. Review Tourism Australia’s market profiles and attend any briefings at the event.
- Know where the buyer sits in the distribution system and if they use partners (e.g. Inbound Tour Operators).
- Talk to your reservations and sales teams to gain specific buyer feedback (both positive and negative) that can be addressed in your meetings.
- Overall, be informed and be knowledgeable to demonstrate to the buyer that you are enthusiastically monitoring their business with you.
Meeting preparation pays off
- Make contact with buyers prior to the trade show via email, ideally before they select their trade show meeting preferences.
- Ensure Inbound Tour Operators are well versed in your products and have your seasonal contract rates. Enlist their support in securing appointments with their wholesale buyers.
- Maximise the pre-appointment scheduling opportunities by accurately reviewing the list of buyers and ranking your meeting preferences based on your prior research.
- Prepare your presentation, remembering to keep your message short, sharp and measurable.
- Use visuals to showcase your product and focus on delivering a professional presentation. Ensure your images are of a high standard and accurately represent your product.
- Know your destination. In addition to selling your own product, you are also selling the destination. Ensure you know as much as possible about your region.
- Be aware of the international planning periods. Each market has a different time of year in which they plan brochures and undertake their marketing. There are also key holiday periods that differ between countries so understanding these is imperative.
- Make a great first impression by being prepared for each individual meeting – have pre-prepared notes specific to each buyer.
- Ensure you are prepared to capture key contacts and information – design an easy to use template to use in each appointment. This can also act as a prompt in discussions.
- Review the products that you are offering and consider tactical offers to boost interest in your products.