How To Get Ready For Your Holiday Trade Shows
Here are some guidelines to make your trade stand more effective, increase engagement and make your time more valuable.
Holiday Trade shows are a powerful way to connect with your liquor, beer and wine distributors and retailers, build your network and showcase your products and services.
Determine your Holiday theme
Your theme influences color choice, branding and merchandise you choose. This theme needs to be congruent with you and your offering. Dress up your table and people will notice. Be creative.
Be the most memorable booth
Use color to captivate people who walk by your booth and, ensure all team members are trained in how to respond to visitors and make sure you all look fabulous.
Greet the customer at the front of the booth
All team members should be fully rested because trade shows are exhausting! Distributor and retail customers will walk right by your booth, if you’re sitting in chairs. If your salespeople don’t look like they want customers to stop to learn more about your products, buyers might decide they really don’t need your merchandise that badly after all.
Create great lighting
Ensure your space is well lit so it will stand out amongst other stands. Be conscious of the heat generated by lights and drink plenty of water while you are on the floor.
Design images and displays based on your customers needs
Write every message from your distributor’s and retailer’s perspective, not yours.
Use Video to sell the product, not the sizzle
Use technology and videos creatively: include interviews, client testimonials, use humor if possible – this helps grab attention and causes people to stop and watch your video in your space.
Incorporate client testimonials
Enlarge font and use for display purposes in the stand, create flyers with comments, place in the show bags and place testimonials in the stand with samples on client letterheads of comments and praise. Teach each of your team how to incorporate distributor/retailer testimonials in their conversations with potential customers at your stand.
Select premium merchandise well
Choose your premium giveaway strategically – glassware promotes brand ID, pens get lost amongst merchandise. Try to give beer or wine product samples away—customers need to taste it. If you are going to spend money make it impactful – avoid junk!
Use real products on your display—not pictures
Image Source: New York International Wine Competition Press Event
If you are selling items people can touch & feel they will be more inclined to buy them – pictures and images don’t cut it.
Use a PA system or TV with streaming video of winery or brewery to drive traffic to your stand.
Pay for this privilege, run hourly competitions and get them announced over the loud system or get to know the person in charge of the PA system and offer them products or services from your booth. Video of mountains, tasting rooms, hop farms or vineyards are breathtaking and capture distributors and retail buyer interest.
Food attracts people and so do girls!
Tasteful food is always popular – if you want to attract walk-by traffic, try some snack options or hors d oeuvres. If people are drinking beer or wine on the trade floor, they need to eat. If you can afford it, hire a Chef for the day—they can make great tasting food pairings for selling your beers or wines.
Provide the biggest carry bag at the show
This will ensure everyone puts their merchandise and items collected in your bag. Make sure your logo and booth # are prominent on the bags you give out.
Use business cards for a worthwhile business card draw
It is a better use of money than small prizes. Get a sponsor to donate a holiday vacation, golf clubs or a case of wine – something more significant. All customers like to win something!
Encourage the team to create a uniform look in their outfits
Dress for the Holiday theme. If you take time to think about your uniform or your booth’s theme, you will come up with the proper attire for the Holiday Trade Show. If you believe that a model will enhance the booth, be sure she knows how to sell the product, not just her pretty face.
Make it fun
Use ‘WANTED’ style posters instead of normal headshot photos to show distributors or retailers have photos taken in fun places, show them the personality of the team they will be working with. This could also be used for targeting a “Network” like Anheuser-Busch or Miller-Coors.
Create a teaser campaign before the event
Send postcards, pieces of jigsaw puzzle, or a password or ‘Lotto” number/offer to flash at the Trade Show booth. This helps generate traffic to your booth and build relationships before you arrive.
Follow up after the event with newsletters, merchandise (use a pen this way)
Did you know less than 1% of people actually follow up--stay in touch with people you met at the show. Write a personal thank you note—it’s more impactful.
Use an electronic flash drive for communicating trade show information instead of mailing out after the show. This makes it easy to disseminate data and easier for the distributors or retail buyers to take information with them—no paper. Be sure to include the price—“show specials” drive sales.
Create a team roster so everyone can be involved in the special event.
Allow time for breaks and also for the team to visit the other booths in the show. Take notes on what you might want to do next year in your booth.
Create a 10 second conversational sales pitch/question for each person who walks by the stand.
Use questioning techniques to get them interested and involved. Make it about them, not you!
Holiday Trade shows are a great brand awareness exercise and you can make positive sales results when you choose to be creative at your next Holiday Trade Show.