November 18, 2019
by Rebecca Purrington
Trade shows for any industry can be exhausting and overwhelming, but they are essential marketing tools for professionals of all sorts — including dental professionals. Conferences enable you to see the latest products, watch live demonstrations, and meet various exhibitors. They’re also a great way to get your brand known with other like-minded people who can use your products and services.
Regardless of whether you’re a trade show veteran or you’re new to the scene, here are some tips to help you prepare for your next trade show so you can maximize the experience.
Sure, you might have to juggle schedules a little. Yet bringing a few staff members to trade shows can help them feel engaged with your practice. This can ultimately increase morale and decrease turnover. While they’re there, they can demo products and learn more about top-of-the-line industry trends that might otherwise slip through everyone’s busy inboxes.
Trade shows are a great way to bring dental innovations into your real-life practice. If you’re operating a smaller outfit, invite one or two people to each trade show, rotating the employees who go on the road with those who stay in the office. With this method, your practice continues working at almost-full capacity while some of your team members are away.
Early registration is key for several reasons: If you’re going to be a vendor, you’ll get the first pick of the best booths. If you’re simply attending the conference, you might be privy to early bird specials, discounts, and other opportunities that aren’t available to people who register later.
Be sure to check with the sponsoring hotel as early as possible. Often, there are room blocks available for discounted rates, but those tend to sell fairly quickly.
If you’ll be exhibiting at a booth, promos are a necessity. Even if you’re just planning to be an attendee at the trade show, properly planned promos can boost brand recognition for your organization. Sure, toothbrushes and toothpaste could go a long way at a dental convention, but how many other people will be handing out the same items? If you want to stand out from the crowd, be creative.
What about toothpaste tube wringers or toothpicks-to-go? Have you looked into travel dental kits to make packing easier for your patrons and future customers? What about something a little different, such as tooth-shaped stress balls or bendy pens?
When allotting a little time to think about creative promos, you can craft interesting items that will put your company’s name right into the palm of prospects’ hands.
Maybe you’re hoping to attend a few speakers’ sessions, or perhaps you just want to peruse the booths; in either case, it’s best to make a plan before arriving. When you know where certain vendors will be, it’s easy to ensure you visit the ones that matter most for your business. Sufficient planning will help you time your visits just right, so you don’t miss the most important parts.
Likewise, if you’re going to be exhibiting, plan your booth strategically by making sure you’re not setting up shop directly next to your biggest competitors. Instead, look for spots situated next to organizations that complement the products or services you provide.
Whether you’re an attendee or an exhibitor, there are a lot of great benefits that can be gained from dental trade shows. Putting a little forethought into the experience can help you see what you need to see and make contact with the industry professionals who can bolster your business.
About The Author
Rebecca Purrington is a Promotional Products Expert with Crestline Custom Promotional Products. She has more than five years of consultative sales experience in the industry and holds degrees in both Social/Behavioral Sciences and Business Management.
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