Here’s the deal: When going to trade shows take a little printed promotional material as you possibly can. Don’t bring the expensive sales brochures. Don’t ship entire catalogues. Don’t make up packages of literature that are wrapped for the convenience of passers-by.
In at time when trade show managers are questioning the value of trade shows, this advice is counter-intuitive. It is like the Bizzaro World where everything is the opposite of what you have learned.
Why? The truth is that most of this literature ends up in the convention center dumpsters pictured above. With airport restrictions on weight being what they are you don’t honestly believe that someone is going to pay extra cash just to get your stuff home do you? This isn’t just me talking, by the way. There are actual studies that prove this out. This means that “trade show experts” have actually been dumpster diving just so I can give you this advice.
These beautiful advertising pieces are still good to have, but leave them at the office until the event is over. Then, take all the collected leads you’ve obtained and mail the stuff. You are now saying “hello” a second time to customers and they know that you haven’t forgotten them. Best of all you are likely to get their literature to the office and not the landfill.
Go to the show with your best company web sites and links loaded onto your smartphone, iPad or similar. When someone asks about a specific product bring up the link in an email window and have the customer fill in their email. Then, hit send. They can be reading the information on the plane ride home, and you haven’t had to mail $25.00 worth of paper.