Trade shows can explode sales for brands and retailers IF you know the insider secrets. Most brands overlook simple strategies to maximize every selling opportunity. Being prepared and a solid strategy for following up after the event are two key elements.

Welcome. In honor of Expo East this week I wanted to talk about trade shows on this show. It’s a little bit of a different topic. But the point is this, trade shows are a big part of your trade marketing budget and just like everything else we talk about, you want to make every opportunity work to your advantage. Trade shows can be a huge win for your brand or they can be a tremendous wasted expense. Depends on how you attack it. Depends on how you approach it. And it depends on the strategies that you use to maximize each and every opportunity, each and every selling opportunity to get in front of other brands, retailers and consumers.

Early in my career, honestly I thought I went to every trade show in North America. While that is an exaggeration, it sure seemed like it. I was traveling all over the country going to trade shows, tabletop shows, et cetera. Back then, trade shows were designed for selling. It was an opportunity for you to sell in shippers and new products into retailers, an opportunity for getting your new products into a distributor.

I’ve talked a lot about this. The way things were in mainstream back then are very similar to the way things are in natural today. In other words, we called on each and every store. We had to sell into each and every store. We had to sell our products to the distributor. Everything was distributed or delivered to the store through a distributor. Very similar to the way things are today.

Then we needed to get smart, we needed to streamline things and we needed to weed out a lot of the costs. That’s why a lot of brands, a lot of retailers were bought up and we went through this thing called centralized buying. That’s a whole other conversation. Back to trade shows.

As I mentioned, I went to a lot of trade shows and a lot of the trade shows were all about how much can I give you or reward you for buying or taking my product off my hands. I literally would give someone a box of golf clubs or golf balls if they would buy a shipper or a certain number of shippers, et cetera. And the point was they were all about selling. They were about making that connection with the retailer, with the distributor, et cetera.

On this podcast episode, we’re going to tackle the trade show question from two different views. One from the brand perspective; how you can maximize it as a brand. And then two, how you can maximize a trade show as a retailer. You’re going to want to stay tuned to the entire episode so that you can think about the different ways that you can impact each group. If you’re a brand, how can you help the retailer? If you’re a retailer, how can you help the brand? This is something you’re going to want to listen to because again, this is all about getting your products on more store shelves and into the hands of more shoppers.

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