With the end of Covid in sight, the trade show industry is slowly but surely reopening. This is great news for companies who rely on the shows to promote their company and increase their business, however, with so many different rules and restrictions that have been implemented throughout the pandemic, many businesses are left confused on how they should approach the reopening of trade shows.
Below outlines what has changed, tips and tricks to showing your business off the best way possible, and which trade shows exactly you can begin to bring your business to immediately.
What Has Changed Since Covid-19?
Most of the basics that come to mind when being mindful of Covid will be implemented at trade shows – aisles will be widened to encourage social distancing, hand sanitizer stations will be placed through the facility, cleaning measures will be heightened, and elbow touches instead of handshakes will still be encouraged. When it comes to vaccinations, similar guidelines to restaurant etiquette will be the standard. Being vaccinated is highly recommended before traveling to trade shows, and if you are vaccinated, you do not have to wear a mask, but if you are not vaccinated, it is encouraged that you continue to wear your mask to protect yourself and others.
Although these Covid practices will be in place, most of what you think of when it comes to trade shows will stay the same, so attendees will be able to have a normal experience.
A Few Tips to a Successful Trade Show Post-Covid
The best way to get your business to stand out at tradeshows is with your branded booth materials. Invest in your display with a canopy, flags, media stand, or even an interactive display – remember, this is the first impression audience members will have of your company. If you skimp on this, you will not get nearly as much traction.
It also can be quite difficult to find a supplier that can provide you with the best products at great prices. Some things to consider when finding a supplier for your trade show booth are turnaround times, price of shipping, product quality (durability), and an expansive selection of products. Once you find the right supplier, a few small things at your booth can set you on the right path:
- Create a video and play it on a loop. Have a video playing at all times that covers the basics of who you are and what you do. This way if you and your team are all busy talking to visitors and more people come up to learn about your company, they can watch the video to get their questions answered. This will also keep their attention as they wait to talk to you.
- Have an unusual giveaway. Pens, hand sanitizer, squish balls, and water bottles are all classic giveaways at tradeshows, so to make your company stand out, try to find an usual promotional material to stay top of mind with your audience. A couple of ideas for materials that will stand out include customized candies, a USB drive, or a sticky phone wallet. Something that can actually be of use to someone (or a tasty snack) is much more likely to have a lasting effect versus a regular pen or water bottle that are overused.
- Get online first. Social media, email, and a general digital marketing strategy will be your best friend. Before heading to a tradeshow, start creating some excitement about where you are going and what you will be doing at different trade shows.
- Email Blasts. Lastly, send out an email blast to your current customer list with the schedule. This way, you can create awareness before the actual events and get more attendees coming to your trade show booth at the event. Adding your booth number to your email signature is a great way to spread awareness as well for those emailing you during the show.
Where to Start with Trade Shows Post-Covid
As of June 1st, Las Vegas has completely opened its city. They have announced a full reopening of trade shows and even released their convention calendar, making this a good first stop. For the last 26 years, Las Vegas has been the number 1 trade show destination. The accommodations and amount of convention centers is unmatched. In addition to these, the weather, transportation, location in regard to the airport, and dining options in Las Vegas are other prime reasons as to why it is such a popular spot when it comes to trade shows.
In addition to bringing your business to Las Vegas for trade shows, there are other major cities throughout the country that are very popular destinations for these types of events and slowly reopening, including Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, New York, and New Orleans. In California, pandemic restrictions were lifted June 15th and convention center operators are eager to get going again, so this will be one major state to watch.
In short, with the pandemic ending it is imperative to get your brand name out there as soon as possible. Trade booths are such an effective way to do this, and although 2020 wasn’t the year of successful trade shows, 2021 will be!