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- 10 Smart Ways to Stand Out at Your Next Dental Trade Show

For those who are not dental tradeshow veterans, and even those who are, they can be exhausting and overwhelming. There are so many people to see, so many things to do, but not enough time to do it. Before you hit the road to attend your next event, remember this advice.


1. Register early and tell your staff. A dental tradeshow or conference will often give discounts for early registration with different policies and pricing structures, so take advantage of special offers. Be sure to communicate with your office manager to block out your time as well as any staff members who may attend.


2. Be consistent with your message and brand strategy. Trade shows are part of the big picture of branding and marketing. Consistency between your message and brand strategy elevates your marketing to a higher level and builds brand dependendability and trust through recognition. It creates a competitive advantage by reinforcing your brand. Make your messaging consistently align with your actions - your identity.


3. Plan ahead and set goals. Why are you attending the dental tradeshow? Do you have a particular product you want to learn more about, or need to fulfil CE requirements? Are you looking for the latest information and trends? These are some things you should consider when planning your schedule and setting goals.


4. Media. You can bet that every major trade journal in your industry will have representation at major meetings, and your goal is to be included in pre-show, show, and post-show articles. Additionally, show dailies can appear as blogs, e-newsletters, or online video posts. Don't forget the power of tweets and Facebook entries that reach people at the meeting and those left at home. Nothing helps create buzz better than your name in the news! Don't think that these articles occur accidentally; it takes ongoing professional efforts to keep editors, producers, and writers happy and interested in your company. Make sure that someone in your organization promotes your launches and other items of interest to the media.


5. Show, don't tell, with high-impact imagery and simple, catchy messaging. Be colourful. Be bold. Be simple. You get one chance "to draw people into your booth and get them to ask questions – something that pulls on their heartstrings, their purse strings, and their attention,” writes Karin Roberts, Director of Marketing, The Trade Show Network Marketing Group.


6. Limit your booth's messages. Remember, your exhibit must have visual punch and is like a billboard. Visitors only take a few seconds to pass judgment. “Am I interested or not?” Too many words cause people's eyes to glaze over, and they just keep walking.
7. Put your company name in the right place. Here's a secret. It doesn't have to be at the top. If you are a well-known brand, that alone could be the draw. But for smaller companies trying to out shout the competition, the name does not need to be at the top. Your message does. The “what” supersedes the “who”.


8. Extend your visual reach. Yes, it's important to have at least one person at your booth, but take the time to wander and meet others in the exhibit hall. Since you are branded, let others see you and talk with you. Not everyone who is at the trade show will walk by your booth let alone notice it. Elevate your exposure. Take a clipboard with you and, after a brief introduction, invite others to give their contact information to sign up for a free service, trial, or to enter a contest you are sponsoring.


9. Train your trade show team. Trade shows are unlike other sales environments. Limited time and attention of attendees requires quick qualifying, and lead generating tactics. Make sure your staff is prepared and has a clear goal for each day.


10. Walk the floor. You might discover opportunities to join activities that help your cause. Check out the other booths and displays. Compare your marketing efforts to those of your competition, and to others in the industry. Learn about industry developments and new products being offered. Your dinner partners will discuss what they see on the floor; don't be left out of important conversations.


Extra Tip: Have fun! Trade shows are a lot of work. Remember to reward yourself by scheduling lunch or dinner with friends. It’s a great time to share information about new products and keep your pulse on industry news.

 

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