"tradeshow marketing"Tradeshows are an excellent way to market your small business offline. That is, when done correctly. So many small business owners waste valuable time and money in an effort to be “all things to all people.” And they go to tradeshows hoping to gain a ton of prospects. Prospecting at tradeshows is as much science as it is art. It takes a plan and the will to follow through. If Tradeshow marketing is in your small business plan for 2012, now is a good time to begin thinking about and creating your offline marketing strategies to make the most of the tradeshow experience for your company.

Here are my twelve Offline Marketing Tips for Successful Tradeshow Exhibiting for your Small Business. Print them out and include in your “tradeshow checklist.”

1. Bring plenty of brochures, business cards, flyers and other informational literature to give out to all attendees.

2. Create a tradeshow special and promote on flyers, coupons and in the show program.

3. Plan and pre-arrange your display table prior to the show.

4. Always dress appropriately and comfortably for your business.

5. Bring a change of shoes. You may start the day with a comfortable pair of shoes, however by days end, your feet will be tired and a change of shoes will give you some relief.

6. You will need one or two people to staff your booth. If you have extra help, have them walk around the show inviting other exhibitors to stop by.

7. Add color to your booth, either in the form of flowers, a plant or balloons (if appropriate and allowed).

8. See who else is exhibiting and introduce yourself. You may just find a complimentary business to cross promote with.

9. When talking with people you meet, write notes about them on the back of the business cards you received.

10. Put the leads you receive in a database and follow up immediately – Send Out Cards are an excellent follow up system. You can upload the database and automatically send the cards through the Send Out Cards website.

11. NEVER take your booth apart early.

12. Smile and have a wonderful day.

Wishing you much success in planning and executing the perfect tradeshow!