Making Effective Use of Samples at Trade Shows
During a trip to a local grocery store, I noticed that there were customers walking through the store sampling different foods. Many times, customers would try the product, add the sampled products to their cart, and often asked where the items were located in the store. Sampling can have some of the same effect in the trade show environment.
Sampling is one way to allow an exhibit to stand out. Some benefits of using samples include:
- Allowing potential customers the opportunity to test the product
- Giving the customer a lasting impression of the product and the company.
- Cost effective
- Giving potential clients an idea of what to expect of the product
- Increasing the likelihood of creating a long term relationship
However, sampling must be well planned and organized to work in your best interest.
Here are some guidelines for planning to use samples:
- Each sample should include the company name and a point of contact. For consumable samples, include something potential clients can take away with the company name and contact.
- Samples should reflect the types of products that you offer. If you are promoting a new product or product line, use the new product as a sample. If you are looking to create awareness of an existing brand, use a sample of a product that is most central to the brand image.
- Make sure that the samples you are offering are attractive to your potential clients.
- Advertise what you are sampling at the show when doing pre-show advertising.
- Make sure the size of the sample is adequate to be tested and trialed. You also want to ensure that the sample size is not too large, as a sample that is too large is not cost effective.
- Find creative ways to distribute the samples that promote interactions with clients.
- Make sure that you have the necessary resources to handle samples.
Sampling can be a great tool to use at a trade show if managed correctly. The main goal of sampling is to get the product into the client’s hands, so that they can “fall in love” with it and become a client. Keeping a client-centered view when planning samples for a trade show will steer you in the right direction to make your samples a success.