How to get the most out of a trade fair – preparation and follow up are key

Attending a trade fair as an exhibitor is one of the most common ways which companies elect to boost company sales in existing markets or to break into new ones. It is the ideal platform to find new customers, develop existing business relationships, build the company brand and image , display the company’s new products and services and also bring the team together.


As the UK and Ireland representative of Feria de Madrid, we visit a lot of trade fairs in the UK and assist many companies in taking a stand at our events in Madrid or around the world.


We have seen many successes, but sadly there are also some companies who exhibit but then complain that they made no new contacts or no new orders, or that the sales “never came to anything”.


Where are those companies going wrong? The answer lies in their lack of preparation and follow-up. It’s not enough to book a stand, get your products together and turn up.


How do you make the most of your preparation time and follow up after the show?


1.- Invite your existing and potential contacts. If you are visiting a new market for the first time or have limited experience in a new country, take time to research new contacts. If you are not sure how to start or where to go for information, an international sales and marketing consultancy like How2Go can offer you various opportunities to research the market:

    1. Qualified sales list – How2Go can research 10-15 companies for you to invite to meet you at the trade show.
    2. Commercial agenda – How2Go can not only research the sales list but then contact the companies and make appointments for you to visit your stand.


2.- Pay particular attention to the promotional tools offered by exhibition organisers such as the online catalogue or app, any special offers for additional promotions in these. If your company has the budget enhance your entries to make your company stand out. Promote your presence in your e-mail signatures, company newsletters, via social media using the correct hashtags to promote you and the show.


3.- Do you speak the language of the country you are visiting? If you are exhibiting in a country where English is not the first language, how can you ensure you still make contacts? A lot of people in business speak English now but you will be able to make more contacts if you have a stand sales assistant like the packages offered by How2Go. Elsie B can also offer you translation services for your literature and graphics.


4.- Once you return from the show how will you follow up your leads – particularly those who do not speak English? Employing new staff can be costly and time consuming. There are a couple of options:

    1. A sales and marketing consultancy like How2Go can provide you with a sales representation service where we become your sales representative in your new territory and follow up leads for you.
    2. You can strike up an agreement with an agent or distributor in the new territory either with a new contact that you made at the trade show or if you did not make one, a company like How2Go can research one for you and help you in the selection process.


To read more about the services How2Go can offer please visit our website for further information.

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