When you own a business that targets pregnant women and new moms, a baby expo is the perfect place to find new customers. However, if you’ve never been part of a tradeshow before, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to make your event more successful.
#1. Keep it simple! It’s tempting to print hundreds of handouts on every aspect of your business. However, women will be strolling by your booth and you have about 20 seconds to catch their attention. Keep your area simple and clean, not so over-stimulating that they just keep walking. Print a simple postcard with highlights of your services and your contact info instead.
#2. Be Proactive and Open – If you are sitting in the back of your booth checking your phone, you are not approachable. Stand up. Smile. Be the first to speak. If you know you can’t stand all day, bring a stool. Don’t sit in a low chair since nearly everyone you will be speaking to will be standing as they walk around the show. Stay at their eye level.
#3 Focus on building ongoing relationships as much as, if not more than, new business. Again, you may only have 20 seconds – that’s not long enough to sell a big- ticket item. But it might be long enough to gain a potential customer’s coveted email address. Lead with, “Would you like to enter my raffle to win a free maternity photo shoot?” While they are filling out your entry form, you can tell them more about yourself and your experience, and what sets you apart from other similar businesses. This might give them time enough to think of a question. Questions turn into conversations and conversations turn into customers.
#4 Acknowledge that their contact info is valuable. After they enter your raffle and/or sign up for your newsletter, hand them a 20% off coupon that they can use at your business or website in the future.
#5 Self care – Leave the high heels at home. Remember that you will be standing and talking for a long time. Wear comfortable shoes. Drink water. Pack mints and cough drops. Maintain your energy levels. Try to schedule someone to cover your booth so you can take a proper lunch break. Bring healthy snacks with you as well.
#6 Practice your Elevator Pitch – Polish your elevator pitch. Describe your services in a succinct and exciting way. Practice it with a friend or in front of a mirror. Again, you only have a short time to make a good impression.
#7 It’s not you, it’s them – Yes, you are excited to promote your business, but also acknowledge your prospective customers by congratulating them on their pregnancy (if it’s obvious!), complimenting them on their cute baby and/or asking them how they are doing. This can go along way in starting a conversation.
#8 Don’t miss this opportunity to network with the other vendors at the Expo – Another great way to build your business is by connecting with the other people who are also exhibiting at the show. Use this as a chance to build your referral network.
#9 Create an attraction. Include something to stall moms as they walk by your booth. It could be anything from a bowl of nice chocolates to a craft for their toddler – anything that makes them pause and give you their attention.
#10 Have fun. Chances are that you are in the “birth business” because this is your passion. Enjoy the day talking about this career you love, cuddle some babies, hug a new mom. Let your passion shine!
Author: Jonathan Sauers is the Show Director and owner of Bayle Mountain Marketing. Bayle Mountain Marketing produces three Mom & Baby Expos in New England that have become known for their focus on education and building community. Jonathan has more than ten years experience in tradeshow production. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by: TARA Photography