If you are looking for a great way to market a home-based business, try becoming a vendor at a trade fair. When you attend a trade show you will be given a table where you get the opportunity to display your product or service to potential targeted customers who have specifically come to the trade show looking for products similar to yours. A Trade show is great because it is typically filled with other business people who understand business and could also be interested in becoming your business partner, so if done correctly it’s an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Since trade shows are filled with business owners if you happen to sell a product these customers will most likely be looking to buy on a larger scale potentially increasing your business volume and inevitably your bottom line. Once you finally decide to market your business many people, think that they have to attend those HUGE shows and invest tons of money. That’s not necessarily the case. Many small local events may be inside your area that could potentially be JUST as effective for your home-based business if not better. Many of the smaller local events can be more cost-effective, and at times more productive. People are often more eager to stop and talk at your booth for longer periods. This will allow you to build a better rapport with your potential client.
A great way to find a trade show inside your area is to start with a search at your neighborhood Chamber of Commerce. They should have a listing of events within your area. You can then contact the event planners for each event to get specific pricing for the booth spaces.
Another idea when looking to market a home-based business inside your local area via trade shows is to, do a Google search for “trade shows [city]” or “expos [city]”. When you contact the coordinators for these events, ask if they know of any other upcoming events, since they are in the industry they may be better able to point you to some other exclusive events.
Now that you are ready to market a home-based business at a trade show; here are few suggestions to help you succeed:
1. First impressions are everything; especially when marketing a home-based business. Make sure you have a good looking booth. People are naturally attracted to what looks good. Have great attractive colors in your booth, have a large banner or sign so that you are not missed by anyone. Have pictures and picture stands of different heights to make it look interesting. Not confusing. Have your products displayed neatly on your table so that everything looks well managed and streamlined. Your display will tell a lot about you as a business owner.
2. Be fully stocked. Trade shows are mainly business events people may want to purchase your products right there, make sure that your booth is fully stocked with your products. Even if they are not displayed all at once always be prepared for buyers. You can get an idea of how many products to bring by asking the event coordinator the amount of attendee he/she expects. On that same note, be sure to have plenty of brochures, flyers, and business cards. That provides information about your business and products. Even if people don’t purchase they will always take a brochure.
3. Give the attendee some type of incentive to come to your booth, a good way is to give away some sort of free item, for everyone such as a bowl of candy or free goodie bags with a key chain or pen with your business name on it. People will be more inclined to come to your booth for something free that they are almost guaranteed to get. If you give away a goodie bag, for example, it will keep people standing at your booth longer because people will always stand in line for free stuff! It helps to keep people for just a little bit longer.
4. Have an inviting and interactive display. If you are allowed to have music, you can have soft inviting music to make people feel relaxed once they get into your booth. Music should be low background music, not loud head banging music. Have as many sample products on hand if possible. Do demonstrations, show how it’s used. Make your display and booth interesting. The goal is to have people come in and stay so you have a chance to have a conversation.
5. Have a free raffle giveaway. Raffle off a product or service from your business. Have contact information forms, to be eligible for the raffle, they have to fill out their information. This way you can capture information about potential future customers or business partners. Include spots for people to mark if they would like to learn more about your product or the business opportunity as well. Make sure to follow up promptly.
Events are a FANTASTIC way to collect contact information, get information into people instantly, and converse with people about your business. If the cost is an issue, consider sharing the booth with another member of your team or another non-competing business. Just bear in mind, you’ll need to share the leads as well.