Finding Customers for POD Business on Printing and Other Industry Trade Shows
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By participating in printing events and critical industry innovations, businesses can find potential buyers. Learn how to become a leader in the digital market and increase sales with Multi-Programming Solutions through this topic.
Events filled with endless kiosks, folding tables with mountains of booklets, and desperate salespeople are a thing of the past. In 2021 & 2022, exhibitions are an effective marketing strategy tool but can sometimes waste time and money. The profit and success of transactions will depend on your preparation - you’ll know what to expect. Competition, product niche, and audience segments among the brands showcase products to their potential customers. For example, owners of local businesses and even members of Bloomingdale's editorial staff can become buyers!
It’d seem, how can you effectively sell among a considerable number of competitors located in one place at the same time? You’ll find the answer to this question in the article.
Table of contents
What is a trade show?
Printing exhibitions are created to bring together representatives of the POD industry in one place to demonstrate their achievements, predict future trends and discuss new products that have just appeared on the market. Exhibitors participate in the hopes of connecting with new customers, influencers, the media, but also to strengthen dealer relationships. Significant events usually take place in the convention centers of large cities and can last for several days. However, some admit only industry representatives: only industry professionals participate in the annual Book Expo America. On the other hand, America's Largest RV Show provides two-days of communication between publishing companies and wholesalers or potential buyers. There are also local trade shows that allow entrepreneurs to connect with clients at the district level. The South Southwest, Austin, TX, welcomes both: the public and business owners.
Top print on demand companies put a lot of effort into developing exhibition planning: this promises a payback in the early stages when the entrepreneur focuses on customer management.
Most people don't stop after the first interaction with a product. Therefore, a business person can use conferences as an opportunity to establish early contacts and have a positive impact on future deals. Practice your sales pitch to make an impact in the first few minutes of your conversation with prospects. Indeed, they usually have many scheduled meetings during the day, and very little free time remains.
Demonstration (print show) as a sales activity
As we already found out, digital printing on demand shows is a fantastic marketing tactic to improve sales and build relationships. Trade show revenue in the US was over $15.7 billion in 2019. The world market for B2B exhibitions is expected to exceed $40 billion by 2023. So, if you’re looking to get a slice of the exhibition marketing pie, you need to build an effective strategy. A prime example is the speeches of influencers and global corporations representatives - they warm up an audience, increasing the level of excitement and frantic energy of something large-scale. This move is a way to increase the customer satisfaction pod.
Today, exhibitions have evolved from traditional networking events to shoppers' excitement. They often provide exhibitors with several types of activities:
- opportunity to showcase your products at specialized sites;
- conduct master classes and presentations;
- interact with the media;
- reward the winners;
- host a variety of private events;
- take part in evening networking events.
For each type to go smoothly, it’s worth adhering to the print on demand trade show tactic, which includes four main stages: planning, preparing, presenting, and maintaining communication after the event.
The concept is the foundation of marketing: you utilize the information available from past events to understand the prospects for your own company (e.g., analyzing the floor plan, site layout, and site placement can affect store visibility and traffic). The budget calculation is also an important step. So, consider the cost and effectiveness of the following aspects:
- advertising of the event and giveaways;
- food, taxi, employee salaries;
- pavilion rental;
- an individual design;
- vantage point;
- celebrity appearances, etc.
Since the primary goal of entrepreneurs is their earnings, it’s worth adhering to strict time management. After all, time is money! Sales are impossible without customers and competitors: an in-depth study of the main demographic characteristics of individuals and companies will help create highly specialized marketing materials. Next, it's up to you to promote your services and products.
Representing the company at events should heighten the feelings of the customers. Thematic audio, video, posters, and banners attract customers and influence the rating of your company. Exhibitors’ work is also associated with building emotional contact with the listeners: they act as brand evangelists to increase awareness and expand zones of influence. Therefore, shine bright or burn out! In general, by creating a transparent and interactive environment for visitors, you can track your sales style and see if something can be improved.
Printing Ad Banners
Suppose you think that printing on demand fabric banners has no minimum trade benefit. In that case, this is a mistake: its cheapness allows an entrepreneur to save on an uninterested audience segment and target information content to those who can become potential buyers.
When people see your banner, your company image in their eyes is strengthened. High attendance at trade shows allows you to be visible to the most influential players in the market. It’s beneficial if you’re a frequent visitor to local fairs. Once you create your banner, you don't need to pay recurring costs as long as you maintain them.
Fabric banner 130cm x 80m on demand no minimum trade printing can be placed in the center of your pavilion. An attractive design that blends harmoniously with the environment will be a more engaging tool than online advertising.
Trademarks to increase recognition
In today's modern world, consumers constantly encounter brands in their daily life and subconsciously view them as genuine products.This creates brand awareness.
For example, John Deere trademark print on demand T-shirts are famous worldwide: the yellow deer on a green background is memorable. In turn, the equipment that the company produces is very high quality. For the average layman, these two characteristics will add up into a single puzzle, and they prefer a reliable manufacturer with a well-known name and logo.
Let's consider what advantages a trademark has for business:
- the customers can easily find you;
- the rights of the company are reserved;
- a brand gets additional recognition;
- income is guaranteed to grow;
- that's an opportunity to scale your business.
Branding banners, video ads, audiotapes, and other marketing tools are crucial for t-shirt printing trade shows. So, add graphics and a catchy logo, choose suitable color schemes, patterns, and fonts.
Giveaways and how they work
A giveaway is a thing that is given away for free to increase interest and brand awareness.
You put on a competition where participants demonstrate creativity, strength, and skill. For example, print on demand trade show giveaways might involve uploading your branding photo to social media and tagging it with a specific hashtag. The winner of the most original image, according to the jury, will receive a valuable prize.
Participants submit applications, after which the winner is randomly determined. You can implement the following rule in digital print on demand shows: potential winners share a post. As a result, they have a better chance of winning a t-shirt or tracksuit.
Tips and tricks to get a new customer
- Stay on top of all print on demand trade shows.
- Count your money: if the rental of space, exhibit design, power, telephone, shipping, promotion are too expensive and, according to your forecasts, won’t pay off with high-quality contacts of potential customers, investors, and partners, then your participation in the expo will probably be a waste of money and time. Apply conversion rates to get an idea of the cost of sale.
- Design your booth for maximum impact with experienced people.
- Ensure you have enough helpers: it’s sometimes difficult for one person to have a meaningful conversation if there’s a queue of people who ask questions at the pavilion.
- Always follow up: before and after the exhibition, demonstrate to your customers your attention and desire to be better (e.g., send a personal invitation with an exchange ticket for drinks).
- Use the print on demand fair trade mechanism to establish equitable and sustainable trade relationships.
Print on demand trade largely depends on innovative approaches at exhibitions. Entrepreneurs from all over the world have a chance to gather in one place and demonstrate their competitive potential in the POD market. They apply strategies and techniques to attract and retain customers to bring their brand name international.
This article explained how these events function, why participation is crucial for entrepreneurs, and how to attract more new customers.