Trade shows are coming back and while many people are looking at reconnecting with people within their industry, it's often difficult to identify whether there is value in going to a trade show. Oh yes, there is the relationship building, the new products and the parties. But have you ever wondered if it is worth your while to show up in person?
In my days of going to trade shows, I too wondered, until that one show where I made up my mind to try to find a $50,000 idea that will help take my business to the next level. At first, I had to make a conscious effort to find the idea, but later because I was focused on getting value out of the trade show, I came across the ideas naturally. Sometimes those ideas came from seminars and experts. Other times they came from talking to other people in the industry. People that did things differently and better than I did. Occasionally it was a product or service that I added to the business, however each and every time, I felt accountable for delivering on my quest for $50,000.
Some of the ideas that have made a difference to get my $50k worth, included putting into practice“Stack em High and Watch em Fly” case stacks for our retail division, the 29,49,79,99 step pricing strategy, margin approaches that I learned from other business people. One year it was a customer service idea like getting more shopping carts and bigger baskets thanks to a retailer who was using this idea with great success. I have also used management strategies I learned and sometimes it was just a new product I added to hit my target.
At one trade show my take away was if I want to make $50,000 a year more in sales, I need to increase my sales by $140.00 per day. With roughly 300 customers a day coming in my door, I only need to get each one of them to buy $.50 cents more. Maybe only 10% will buy more so I need 1 in 10 to buy a $5 item extra. So, what will that be? If you have a retail type business, you might want to focus on impulse buying. Consider how you might get your customers to buy more by providing them with opportunities to purchase products from you that they might purchase elsewhere. We often see this in hardware stores where they have added cleaning supplies or snacks near the tills. Products that you traditionally bought elsewhere are now stacked high by the till in case you need them.
Trade shows can be fun, but they can also be a valuable source of growth ideas for your business. The key to success at trade shows is to have a plan. Making a list of what you need to accomplish at the trade show, who you need to talk to? What are you searching for? What does your team need to do aside from you? What seminars do you want to take in? Trade shows can be a great place to negotiate better deals, making purchases that will benefit your bottom line, and re-energize you in running your business.
Going to your next trade show? You should be curious about what will be your $50K idea this year? Where will your $140 dollars a day come from? Having a goal will give you new energy for your trade show and keep you on track for making the event valuable.
Dave Fuller, MBA is an Award Winning Certified Professional Business Coach and the author of the book Profit Yourself Healthy. Need help with your business? Email firstname.lastname@example.org