Make the Most of Market: Exhibitor Tips
Given the amount of money and time invested, what can you do to prepare for a productive market experience?
Here are a few tips:
Let buyers know your plans for Market.
Send emails and update social media to let buyers know you are open for market and share health & safety protocols you’ve implemented in your showrooms along with campus wide market policies.
Set appointments with buyers.
While appointments are not required, they are highly encouraged. Appointments are a helpful way to ensure you see key buyers, staff your showroom appropriately and maintain social distancing within your space. Create a process for setting appointments and promote to buyers through emails and social media. Calendly is a good option that many are using – they have free and low-cost plans.
Decide which products or lines are going to be the primary focus of the show.
While catalogs can give a sneak peek of your company’s entire range, it’s a good idea to limit your sales focus. Buyers are looking for in stock merchandise that can be shipped quickly and new merchandise to differentiate their stores.
Entice attendees with show specials. Everyone loves a sale!
Offer small takeaways, show specials, or order discounts at your booth or showroom, and make sure each has your company name and contact information clearly printed. Create specials that are only available at market, encouraging buyers to attend and purchase. Don’t forget to submit your show specials through the Exhibitor Portal!
Design your booth space or showroom with bold graphics and clean lines so it stands out from the rest.
You have just a few seconds to capture busy buyers’ attention, so invest in visual merchandising to make your booth pop. Pay attention to practical matters by making sure the booth has enough storage space for brochures, paperwork, and tech gear. In a permanent showroom space? Take the time to rotate merchandise and refresh your presentation. Even existing products with a fresh take can catch attention and drive new sales!
Ensure adequately trained staff is on hand at all times.
Anticipate peak volumes so staffing can be planned accordingly. Reach out to your loyal retailers and encourage advance booking of appointments so staffing needs can be fine-tuned. Make sure all staff members know the goals for market, remind them to stay engaged, and to schedule time for breaks. Booth attendants checking their phones are not making eye contact with potential buyers and convey the impression that they are bored — a big no-no. Buyers are looking for product knowledge and information right now to help convey the story behind merchandise, make sure you’ve practiced your unique pitch and create a handout that buyers can take with them.
Test all tech gear to make sure everything’s working as it should.
Check Wi-Fi connections and consider investing in Wi-Fi boosters or extenders for smoother sailing. Download apps or rent equipment that allow easy smartphone scanning of attendee registration badges. These tools can collect, transcribe, and store badge data to give you valuable customer information. Market makes these tools available for a reasonable fee – it’s well worth the small investment to capture the data so that you can communicate with buyers after market!
Get busy with social media.
Share market experiences live from the showroom floor on Instagram and Facebook or whichever outlets garner the most following for your business. You can also broadcast daily show specials through these platforms and offer special codes customized for your social media followers. Make sure to tag the market (#LVMkt) and use relevant hashtags to expand your reach. Utilize new aspects within each platform, like stories and reels, to create more engaging posts and better visibility.
Showcase Products in Trade Publications.
The Public Relations team maintains a robust press release schedule for each of our markets. In addition to market news, trade publications feature a variety of exhibitor products. Review this list of free industry press opportunities and submit your products for possible placement.
Reach the Media.
Exhibitors can upload press kits to Las Vegas Market’s new Virtual Press Center. Share your new product information and images, as well as company background, with trade and consumer media through this new online resource. The Virtual Press Center will be open before, during and after market. Upload Press Kit.
Interact Virtually While at Market.
Create a virtual showroom tour that you can share with buyers digitally before, during and aftermarket. Schedule Virtual Appointments during market via FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, etc. to interact with buyers remotely during market. Host virtual events and share with IMC to help promote by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow up after market.
Say thank you and reach out to attendees post-show so they are reminded about who you are and what they liked about your products in the first place. While at Market, make sure to write down quick notes about especially interested leads so you can include specifics in your follow-up notes.
During the last few hours of market, instead of off-loading product at steep discounts, consider offering them for free to hot prospects. Even the smallest tokens of appreciation can buy you a lot of brownie points.