Sizing Up The Competition and their Trade Show Displays
When visiting a trade show, there are important tasks to accomplish besides the obvious ones of setting up your own trade show display and meeting new clients. For starters, you want to network. You want to get out of the company booth and see what all there is available in the convention center or outdoor park, wherever you are located. This allows you to find companies and individuals who are willing to work with you and trade services. These joint ventures can become a rather large addition to any business, helping it grown and expand its services to other locations. After all, in order to stay relevant, it is necessary to grow.
On top of this, however, it is very important to check out your competition at the trade show and see what kinds of services and products the competition is offering. This way, you can see if you need to adjust some of your company offerings or if the competition is far behind and just looking to catch up. Whatever they are doing, it is vital to size up what services and products they offer and see how it compares to your own.
When you arrive at the trade show and finish setting up your trade show exhibits, you should try to look around before the show starts, or at the beginning, before the crowd hits. Initially, the larger, brighter and more exciting trade show booths are going to attract you. This is the nature of these larger displays. Even if the products are not as good, the larger displays help excite individuals and bring in attention.
It doesn’t really matter which displays you go visit first, so feel free to check out the big budget displays – don’t just stop and stare, though. You want to collect information on each of the companies and see what kinds of offerings they provide. Grab their literature; you may find something in the fine print after leaving the display you didn’t see previously, which can point towards how well, or how poorly the specific company is performing.
You don’t want to skip over the booths with smaller trade show displays either. These companies may not have as big a budget that the larger, more well-known companies have, but it doesn’t mean the products provided and services offered are sub par. In fact, you may actually be rather surprised as to what you see at these display stands.
Again, make sure to take all information and jot down notes while visiting the stand. Ask any question you have. It may help if you don’t walk around in company attire when it comes to this though, as some individuals may not give out information if they find out you are a competitor.
After visiting the different trade show displays, and when you have a bit of time to yourself or with the rest of the team, make sure to go over the paperwork and notes taken on the different displays (you may find breaking up the team sizing up the different trade show displays proves helpful as it spreads the work out, meaning less for each individual).
While going over the paperwork on the trade show displays, you may decide to do a bit more investigating on one of the particular trade show booths. Some of the products they offer may be worth checking out, or you may want to investigate their sources for specific supplies. Taking specific notes on the trade show display stands and their location in the show in order to ask follow-up questions later or check out the products further – there are so many different displays in the area, its easy to forget which display is in what location.
Bottom line, don’t squander the opportunity you’ve already paid for; use any time you’re not actively in the booth, selling, to network. Go out and meet companies that you may want to work with in the future, meet suppliers if they’re also there, and especially scope out any and all competitors to find out anything you can about their products and services, their suppliers, anything mutual customers may have to say about them, etc. – every little bit of info helps!