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Presenting at a trade show can help you develop your business by expanding your customer base, strengthening your brand, and learning more about your industry and competitors. If you pick the right show, your business can really benefit from a trade show exhibit.

If you find most of your customers by making sales calls, you’ve probably realized that the people on the other end of the phone don’t always seem receptive to your products. It’s no secret that people don’t like sales calls, and many will be unwilling to buy from callers, even if they could use the services being offered.

People who visit trade shows, on the other hand, are willing and even expect to be marketed to. You can expect people visiting your table to be interested in your products or services. Some even come ready to commit to a deal on the spot. Interact with everyone who visits your table–you don’t know who your potential customers are–and keep notes on all interactions you have so that you can follow up later.

Trade shows are also a great way for you to see how your industry is doing. If your exhibit is experiencing a lull, walk around and take a look at your competitors. Pose as a customer and ask them for information on what they do and price lists for their products and services. Take note of what their objectives are and how they treat you as a customer, and ask yourself if your prices are competitive. Also take note of which booths are doing the best, and figure out why. You may be able to replicate their success at the next trade show.

To get the most out of a trade show, plan ahead. If you have the opportunity to decide where to position your booth, look for booths that are leaders in your industry, and get as close to them as possible. Design an eye-catching display that makes your services clear. Also, highlight your social media. Potential customers who don’t make a deal with you at the show may still take note of your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to connect with you and potentially make a deal later.

Trade shows can be expensive. The costs of designing displays, training employees to present, and traveling to the location can add up. To get the most bang for your buck, choose a show wisely. Look for a medium-sized show that focuses heavily on your industry. Establish sales goals or any other goals prior to the event. And after the show, go over any information you’ve collected and strategize what to do next.