Trade Shows

Trade shows are sound investments for attendees who know in advance what they want to accomplish. Those who follow a well-defined 'game plan' will reap rewards that lead to successful business for a lifetime. Exhibitors who are prepared enjoy a win-win payoff, too!

Unique opportunities will surface for retailers, wholesalers, sales reps, and manufacturers who follow a 'game plan' that includes (1) pre-show preparation, (2) focused conduct on the show floor, (3) post-show follow-up.** Here is a list of suggestions to define your own ‘game plan’ when you visit exhibitors. Some points will be more important than others, while some may be vendor-specific.

  • Ask if the exhibitor is a manufacturer, marketer, importer, or distributor.
  • Meet the owner, sales manager, etc.
  • Discuss positioning in the marketplace and their marketing and ad programs.
  • Explain your business and your role.
  • Tell them if you carry their line or plan to do so.
  • Ask for an overview of product line.
  • Ask for product features and benefits.
  • Discuss selling techniques.
  • Inquire about availability of training services.
  • Ask for recommended add-ons.
  • Request samples.
  • Request hands-on demos.
  • Ask for suggested retail prices.
  • Ask if there are new applications for old products.
  • Ask about product improvements.
  • Request literature.
  • Inquire about co-op ad programs.
  • Determine availability of consumer samples.
  • Set up in-store demo days.
  • Add your name to their mailing lists.
  • Inquire about availability of coupons.
  • Discuss competitive strategies.
  • Learn return policy and guarantees.
  • Record names of distributors who handle lines, full or partial.
  • Determine origin of product, USA or import.
  • Ask if product is the ‘original’ or ‘knock-off’.
  • Share ideas for product improvements.
  • Discuss resolution of problems.
  • Ask if there are merchandising contests.
  • Look for new items that your customers would buy.
  • Identify fads and trends and buy accordingly.
  • Arrange future appointments.

Much that can be accomplished on the trade show floor. The opportunities for rewards are enormous. Every minute counts, so it may be necessary to pursue some of these matters after the show. Nonetheless, these guidelines will lead to your "Win-Win Payoff" on the show floor.

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