Over the last couple of weeks, Zebulon Solutions has made a couple of “first appearances” at local trade shows. Which ones you ask? Made in Colorado Manufacturing Forum at the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park in Denver was our first appearance ever at a trade show. This was a great first show for Zebulon Solutions: we made many friends, ignited interest and networked like crazy! Not to mention Governor Hickenlooper was in attendance and spoke to the crowd on the benefits of manufacturing in Colorado. Overall, it was a successful first trade show.
Zebulon Solutions also exhibited at NoCom last week, which was the first time for the Northern Colorado Manufacturing trade show. There were over 55 vendors and many hundreds in attendance. NoCom had such great attendance, they are already in gear for a show in 2016, so be sure to check it out! I’ve learned a lot and it’s great to have two trade shows under our belt, but it took some serious prep work to get to this point.
I’ll admit, I was little nervous being on the other side of the trade show circuit. Usually when I walk the trade show floors, I go in thinking I know exactly what I’m looking for. I believed what attracted me to a certain booth over others wasn’t their display, but whether or not their product or service was a necessity to us. However, there were occasions where a random booth within our industry would catch my eye. Had it not been for their creative display filled with an array of products and service and not mention engaging staff, I probably wouldn’t have stopped to find out more. This was something I was sure to take note of before I began putting together our trade show display.
Getting to the “ready-point” was no easy feat. This being my first trade show ever, I had to start planning about a little over a month in advance. There was a long checklist of marketing materials and balancing employee schedules that I had to work out. But the most important element of any trade show was showing the diversity of products we work on and the multitude of services we provide. We want people to understand that we are more than just a design shop working on consumer products, we can engineer big, complicated systems.
So how did we do that? As you can see in the photo below, we tried to implement various products from numerous industries like military, solar, baby products, medical and energy storage. With each product, we were sure to mention the services provided and a description of each product. As many people walked by, they would often linger with curiosity. That’s all we needed to walk up and engage the crowd!
I’ve learned that being on the other side of the trade show circuit is a whole other animal, but well worth investing the time and energy. I just wish we had been doing this years ago! It’s all about getting your name/brand out to the public and it’s just one more way to gain great networking opportunities. Trade shows can be very beneficial to locating leads. Really, all you need is one good lead to justify the costs of a trade show. You never know where that next lead could come from!