When looking for advice on anything, it's always smart to turn to the pros. Today I've done the work for you, compiling useful tips from big names in business. Here are their three steps to trade show success:
1. Ask questions & prepare
Should I participate in this show? What do I need to do to organize? Is my trade show display the right size? These are some of the questions that, according to Entrepreneur, need to be considered before signing up and heading to a trade show.
It's important to be sure of the who, what, where, when and why of every trade show you plan on attending. Otherwise, you risk wasting resources -- like time, money and manpower -- at an expo your company won't benefit from in the long run.
Exhibitors do not get a free pass to sit at their booth all day. If you want to get the most out of your trade show experience, bring a few additional staff members who can walk the exhibit hall, suggests Forbes.
Doing so allows you to meet others within your industry, make important contacts and maintain current business relationships. Tying yourself down to your booth means you'll miss other important opportunities.
3. Track ROI
After the show, it's important to track revenue as well as possible. Business 2 Community says that scanning badges and collecting business cards is a good start; it allows you to track leads throughout the sales process and see if they convert. But it doesn't cover everyone you made an impression on.
Call tracking software can help you track post-show phone leads. You get a unique phone number for each show to be included on your marketing materials. Whenever that number is dialed, you can attribute it to a specific expo.
What other pro tips would you add to this list?