Best Preparation Tactics For Trade Shows - Home Service Millionaire
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Best Preparation Tactics For Trade Shows

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How to Do It Right and Get the Most for Your Space

Marketing for your company is what draws in the clients. You are always marketing, always selling your brand. Many methods of marketing are out there to utilize, but Tommy Mello tells us this in his book Home Service Millionaire:

I was talking with the owner of the largest window company on the West Coast at a home show recently. He was telling me how he cut out 90 percent of his advertising spend and shifted his focus to doing just one thing—and he doubled his business. Naturally, that got my attention. “I used to be one of the largest TV and billboard ad spenders in the industry,” he said, “but a friend of mine explained I should check out home-show events. They are very profitable. I spend about 10% of what I was spending before, and I have doubled my business. With the right training and the right team, you can get your advertising spend down as low as five percent of your revenue.”

Tommy Mello
piggy bank

He had been spending 20% of his entire revenue on marketing alone. The best part is these shows attract potential customers, people that are already looking for your service, people you want to get your message to, in one place. You get access to these people, all for the low cost of a booth.  But, as I’m sure you know, there is still a bit of work that needs to go into doing these shows right.

The most important first step is making sure you have the right people “manning” and “working” these events. 

star employee

Can you imagine the last time you went to the mall? Maybe even the last time you went to Target or Walmart and you had people coming up to you trying to sell you something? These people would step out and follow you, not taking no for an answer. They are the ones that believe in their product so much that they will follow you simply to rub lotion on your hands or talk to you about their new brand of jewelry. These star people you want working at these trade shows.  You don’t necessarily need them to chase down people to push your product on them because if you are doing it right people you want, your ideal customers, will already be coming to you. I mean these people who have the same passion for what you are selling as you do. These are your “stars”.

The level of effort that goes into a show ultimately determines its success rate.


Plan far in advance:

person writing in book

Make sure you understand and have all the travel arrangements or your team ready to go in advance. Also, consider pre-show campaign planning. Prepare emails to send out letting your potential clients know you are coming to that trade show. Let your name get out there as much as possible. Take business cards around locally and put them places people will see them. Talk to your clients already using your services and see if they would be willing to write testimonials. Gather your five-star ratings and print them very large to bring to the show.

Prepare the sales and executive teams:


You may have different teams coming with you to the show. There may be a marketing team, sales team, and an executive team. It is very important to make sure they are all on the same page and have all the relevant information leading up to the event. Make sure to include booth hours and meeting times on everyone’s calendars (set in their time zones so they have an advance itinerary). Have a meeting with everyone the week before the show to ensure everyone is ready.

“Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with your marketing.”

– Mike Volpe

Schedule pre-show booth meetings:

Prescheduling booth meetings with previous visitors or even with some prospective customers, is a great way to help increase your visibility. Set a realistic goal for your team.

Be active on social media:

social media marketing

Post photos from the event to your social media channels before, during, and after the event. Invite people that are attending to stop by your booth to enter a contest, pick up a giveaway, or watch a demo. Make sure to include your booth number and event hashtag so people can easily find you.

Provide giveaways:

Fun giveaways can bring about more traffic. Invest extra money in a giveaway or activity to attract more people. Aim them at the people you want to work with, that target market. Get creative with this. Everyone loves food, you can set up something fun with food and use it as an ice breaker.

Scan, Scan, Scan: 

 During the opening day of the trade show, meet with your onsite team 30 minutes before the doors open. Make sure they know the layout of the booth, giveaways and activities to promote. Demonstrate how to use the badge scanner and let them try it. They have scanners that allow you to type in notes after conversations. This will help your team with post show follow up. Scan the badge of everyone that stops by your booth.

Debrief and follow up:

analytical data after trade show

Schedule a debrief call with your team after the trade show taking note of what worked well and what did not. Keep track of things like the location of the booth, if your message seemed to resonate with people, anything that seemed relevant. Make sure all leads are uploaded into your customer relationship management (CRM) system and shared with your sales team within 48 hours.

Another note from Tommy Mello

Provide the people working at the show with an iPad that has your PDF brochure loaded into iBook’s. Then they can offer to email visitors your literature and do it right while they’re standing there, as well as ask if it is ok to add them to the mailing list.

“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.
” – Seth Godin


Great opportunities are all around you in your community as well. You do not necessarily have to wait until the trade shows. Take advantage of local events, sports teams, and community gatherings. You can even set up a table at a football game offering out cards with cups of Gatorade. Everything holds opportunity, it’s what you make of those opportunities that makes the difference. Remember to measure the effectiveness of all these different tactics so you can do more of what works and leave behind what does not.

A great trade show to take advantage of is Maricopa Home Trade show in Phoenix. 

For more information on trade shows and consumer shows follow the links below:

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