Jared Wieland turned his dream into a reality. He manufactured and sold custom-crafted toys in the southern California. Business was good, but he soon realized that he needed to expand his market or would it become impossible for him to carry on.
To this end, he set up an e-commerce retail line and launched an aggressive online marketing campaign. His efforts brought him some additional business; but he earned barely enough to repay his initial investment and not nearly enough to make a significant difference in the finances of his company.
Jared maintained a small executive staff. It was really a team consisting of vice-presidents for marketing, operations, finance, and human resources. They assembled every Monday morning to plan out the events for the week. On the Monday after he received the bad news about the failure of his e-commerce venture, he overheard Ops speaking to Finance. It was a casual conversation between the two women, before the formal start of the meeting, about what they had done over the weekend. The operations VP told her colleague about the trade show she went to on the previous Saturday.
Jared listened intently. After the completion of the meeting, he asked his Ops boss to step into his office. He asked her a few questions about what she had seen, and after wrapping up called Marketing in to join them. The three executives formed a plan. Toyland, the name of the company, would have its own booth at the next trade fair to pass through town.
Arrangements were made by the marketing director. Toyland had its own booth at a trade show event that occurred in Los Angeles three months after that meeting. Everything went off perfectly. The booth contained a display of toys sold by the company, and a little area in which children could play with the kind of toys seen on display.
The one day of exposure at a trade fair led to a tremendous increase in Toyland’s online retail traffic. More foot traffic was seen in the two stores Jared had opened in the Los Angeles area. Two months later, Jared reserved another booth in a trade show in San Diego and saw his business increase even more. A year later, the company had grown so fast and so suddenly that Jared was compelled to expand the size of his stores and to hire more staff to keep up with the online traffic.
Growing Your Business
Trade shows continue to be underestimated as a tool for effective sales and marketing. The fact is that people who go to trade fairs are looking for new and interesting products. They want high quality at a good price. If they are satisfied with what they have purchased, they will tell their friends, family, and colleagues about it—in effective, giving you free marketing.
Reserving a space at a trade show is not enough. You must set up a booth and a display that will attract the attention of attendees. This is best done by working with a company that has extensive experience and expertise in such matters.