Trade shows can be a competitive arena, and with the introduction of new technologies and eye-catching display options, trade show representatives need every advantage available to prove a standout in the crowd. Product demonstrations offer a face-to-face, interactive environment for potential clients, giving exhibitors the best fighting chance for making their product or services memorable and marketable.
Winning at the Trade Show
The trade show industry is continually growing and changing, and research has shown the very real benefit of trade show attendance for a company’s profitability. 26 percent of trade show attendees sign a purchase order right there at the show, so learning the most beneficial techniques for marketing within your exhibit can raise the chances of trade show success. What does a company need to make their exhibit stand out from the crowd?
- Eye-catching display: Consumers are visual, and the more attractive and engaging the display, the better the odds of attracting new business to your booth.
- Personable, Approachable Sales Team: A good conversation with a friendly sales person is always a winning element to the trade show sales experience, and having the right people with expert knowledge on your sales team is crucial for making that very important client connection.
- Interactivity: The hands-on approach has worked for years, for the simple reason that consumers want to try before they buy. Providing an interactive element within an exhibit can only increase the attraction to your display.
- Excellent Product Demonstration: Proving to the consumer the positive effects or usability of your product or service is a key selling point and one that your business simply cannot afford to do without. The advantages of a well-planned demonstration can mean the difference between making the sale and losing the customer to another organization, one who has a carefully planned demonstration.
Advantages of Product Demonstrations
While eye-catching displays, personable sales teams and interactivity are clearly excellent benefits to trade show exhibits, many companies don’t recognize the many advantages that product demonstrations can provide and leave out this critical part of the sales process. Product demonstrations:
- Offer an educational and informative tool to large groups at one time. Rather than taking up great amounts of time with individual customers, product demonstrations allow audience presentation, saving time and effort on the part of the sales team.
- Generate a “buzz” within an exhibit. Similar to the ‘step right up’ sales methods of traveling salesmen, product demonstrations draw trade show attendees out of the aisles and into your company’s booth. A well-executed product demonstration can create a trade-show-wide buzz, one that attendees share with each other and ultimately lead each other back to your booth.
- Provide recognition for leads within a crowd and allow for prequalification of potential clients. Those who are truly interested will not only stick around for the demonstration, but will ask meaningful questions and show genuine interest. Leads can be easily identified and the qualification process for client services can be determined right then and there.
- Open the door for further discussion. While some attendees might shy away from a pointed conversation initially, a product demonstration provides a nice segue way from “just looking” to “tell me more.” Demonstrations make it easy to start the conversation.
- Create a positive environment in the booth. Demonstrations make the booth less of a sale pitch and more engaging, creating a friendly environment. Attendees will appreciate the chance to see a product in action without immediately receiving a sales pitch, letting them decide for themselves if they are interested without being bombarded upon first walking into the booth.
- Encourage and motivate exhibitors for the duration of the trade show. Standing for hours can be tiring, but product demonstrations give action to the product, motivating exhibitors to keep moving and maintain a higher level of energy. Demonstrations also alleviate some of the pressure of making the sale, as they provide a positive impression of the company without the traditional sales pitch coming right off the bat.
Tips for Successful Product Demonstration
Knowing the advantages of product demonstration is the first step, and once this action is implemented into the trade show, it’s equally important to recognize how to enact it most effectively. A few tips for successful product demonstration are:
- Practice, practice, practice: Consider your product demonstration as a speech, or an act, that will be performed to an audience and prepare and rehearse as such. Script your words carefully and prepare answers for the questions that will inevitably be asked. Practice the demonstration with fellow employees and run through ‘what if’ scenarios of dialogue to prepare for any questions that might come your way.
- Be friendly: A genuine smile and meaningful eye contact can make a customer feel as though you are really interested in their business, so it’s important to be relaxed in the demonstration and remain friendly and approachable with both the demonstration and every conversation had with potential customers. Whether speaking to one person or a group of 30, make eye contact with everyone and smile.
- Do your research: Know who the audience is and what exactly it is that they are there to buy. Put in some time in research to know the target demographic and how to most effectively reach them. Most importantly, know the product being sold, backwards and forwards. If a question is asked that cannot be answered, it makes the exhibitor look unprepared and the company less than adequate. Be prepared for every question by knowing everything that you can about the product and company.
- Mold the demo to the audience at hand: Know what the customer is there to buy and know that every customer is different. Have several versions of the demo ready to tailor to every potential customer’s needs
A carefully planned, well-executed demonstration is critical to a successful trade show exhibit, so take the time to recognize the advantages and implement a product demonstration into your trade show plans.
Make the most of your experience with an eye-catching trade show display and a carefully designed plan of action for customer engagement. With a mission to provide a wide range of products and services on every budget, Northwest Creative Imaging is your ticket to trade show success.