There was a time I thought trade shows and direct mail was a thing of the past, that business was going to move towards online searching and buying. And maybe it did, or was, for a short while. Today, I find both those older tried and true sales channels to be affordable, targeted, and effective.
Last week, hubby and I vended at the Main Street Now trade show in Kansas City, MO. Right dab in the middle of America. We arrived Monday, the day after one of the March Madness tournaments, and the city was still reeling.
We made a calculated decision not to pack too many catalogs because usually we can’t give them all away. Most shows it’s hard to even give away small swag items. But this Tradeshow was different and I deduced it was because many attendees drove instead of flying. It was a great show all day, both days. We ran out of everything we brought to give away and collected cards of prospects that wanted us to send them our catalog once we returned home.
It’s not a secret the world is growing smaller, we had lots to talk about with everyone. Because we have done this show many times, we’ve developed relationships with both the vendors, some of our friendly competitors, and the prospective customers. Imagine that, relationships with customers!
In today’s fast paced sales cycle, it is Wham, Bam, thank you Ma’am and when, at days end, you leave work, your carpal tunnel is flared up, your eyes have dried up and you have a headache. Though I dread the thought of every tradeshow; the preparation, the travel and the standing all day, I find it rewarding.
If you decide to work a tradeshow, I suggest entering the games offered. At this show, if the attendees got their score cards signed by all participating booths they were eligible for a door prize. Of course, we played and paid the entry fee. It was fun and we met almost everyone there.
When it is all said and done, trade shows still work.