As a small business coach in the Chiropractic industry, I speak at a few events and put up a table. It's not a big trade show sort of deal, but there is traffic walking by our table. What are some good practices to pull people in and educate them on what we offer (coaching, audio programs, retreat, etc.)?
Trade shows are excellent for:
1. Exposure - getting your name out there to the industry. If you are looking to get established (i.e. you are just starting out) attending let's others "discover" you. If you are established it let's others know you are still in the game.
2. Recon - you get a chance to literally MEET some of your competition. Grab their marketing materials and even take time to meet them (sometimes strategic alliances are possible!). You may also discover some trends in the industry that you can integrate into your strategy. As well trade shows can be great networking events. Be sure to collect as many business cards as you hand out.TIP: make notes on the back of the card to remind you why you took it so you'll remember the conversation when you get back home! Then take the initiative and follow up IMMEDIATELY.
3. Lead Generation (this seems to be specific to what you are asking) - gathering contact info from those that expressed interest and getting them into your funnel. I have developed some excellent ways to do this - to get them into the booth (or over to your table) and to engage them.
4. Sales - if you have product on-hand (which I HIGHLY recommend) or a way for people to "sign up" then and there you can actually generate pretty good income for the day. My goal for every trade show is to generate AT LEAST as much income from the booth as I spent to get there (so I AT LEAST break even for the event).
If you are interested in discovering more about how to do these things - give me a call.
Have fun... And best of luck to you!