While trade show will expose your business to many people, the time you spend with individual prospects is extremely limited. In order to maximize the impression you make on each prospect, you must be thoroughly prepared for the show.
Following is a checklist of ensuring you are ready for the trade show:
- Give some consideration to geography. Is this the first entrance into a geographic are? If so, try to time the show to coincide with media advertising.
- Obtain information from the organizers well in advance of the event. Get details on the cost of exhibiting, space available to set up your exhibit, how the event will be promoted, and other information that you feel is useful.
- Decide on the booth location you want, and reserve the space as early as possible. Although the best locations are sometimes given to companies that have attended the shows in the past, you may find that you are able to pick your location. If so, choose a location that generates high traffic and allows people to stop at your booth. Good spots include the main isles in the middle of the exhibition hall. Try to locate between other franchisors in order to benefit from traffic they generate. Also, avoid areas near the main entrance, washrooms, or eating areas where people are likely to pass through without stopping at your booth.
- Ensure that you have enough people to work the booth. At least two people should be present at all times. These people should be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the franchise program.
- Work with your staff to develop key questions to ask prospects, and rehearse answers to questions you are likely to receive.
- If you already have franchisees in the area, ask them to work the booth with you. Their testimony will go a long way toward making a good first impression!
- Franchisors must satisfy the registration requirements of each state in which in intends to sell franchises. Since trade shows are part of the franchise sales process, you must comply with state requirements prior to the show.
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