If you’ve decided to make the investment and exhibit at the International Home and Housewares Show, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Hopefully you’ve already got your booth planned and prepped and your products in order, but have you thought about strategies your company can use to stand out in the crowd? In 2015, there were more than 41,000 booth visits recorded. Exhibitors need to take extra steps to get noticed and stay top of mind. We’ve compiled a few suggestions business owners can use to generate brand ambassadors, engage buyers and the media, and get the most out of this year’s show. Here are eight exhibitor tips for International Home and Housewares.
1. Download the buyer list and reach out early
With more than 2,100 exhibitors, it would take buyers over four days to walk the entire show and visit each booth. Yes buyers will be walking past you all day—but not all are looking for your product. Download the buyer list and do your research. You can sort the list and gain insight into which buyers are interested in your niche. Conduct a small marketing campaign before the show starts. Send emails, mail free samples, or offer a special discount to your target audience and entice them to visit your booth.
2. Update Housewares Connect 365
Be sure to adequately showcase your brand on Houseware Connect 365. With over one million searches conducted in 2015, the system allows buyers to search companies in their niche, tag those they want to visit, and create a map leading them straight to their prioritized booths. Companies who stand out on 365 give themselves a significant advantage. Hop in the system and add your company boilerplate, enticing images, and videos. Attract people to your booth by telling a unique brand story.
3. Reach out to the media
IHA has a list of pre-registered media contacts. Do some preliminary research to determine which of the members of the press attending the show are writing about your niche and what angles they like to explore. Are they interested in marketing to millennials or do they write about products made from unique materials? Think critically about how your product might appeal to their readers and get in touch before the show.
4. Update your press kit
If you want the media to help share your brand story, you’ll want to make the process as simple as possible for them. Host your logos, photos, and company boilerplate somewhere on your website in a press kit. Here are some great tips on what else to include. If you’ve planned to release new products or make an important announcement during the show, consider investing a press release kit to help spread your message far and wide.
5. Be prepared for orders
Buyers come to buy so be prepared to sell. If you don’t have an order form already created, here is one you can use. If you really want to get your products out the door, consider offering a special discount for orders completed during the event.
6. Educate yourself
The International Home + Housewares Show is more than a place to buy and sell products, it’s a true meeting of the minds for folks in the industry. Take advantage of the wealth of knowledge around you and attend a few of the educational sessions. Our CEO, Krista Morgan, will be speaking on Saturday, March 5 about funding strategies for growing products companies. There are great keynote speakers lined up to present on everything from marketing to millennials to the philosophy of color. Check out the full list of events here.
7. Get social
IHA has definitely upped their social media game. Connect with their profiles on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Youtube. Use this year’s hashtag #IHHS2016 and start engaging. Now is the time to plan and kick-off a social media campaign and direct people to your booth. Unfamiliar with social? Check out a few killer campaigns here and here to get some ideas.
8. Plan your follow-up
You already know that you’ll need to do some follow-up after the show to continue the conversation with prospective buyers. Take steps to plan your campaign now so you can execute in a timely manner while you and your products are still top of mind. Here are a few best practices to consider as you plan your outreach.
Good luck out there! We look forward to seeing you and your products out on the floor.