Promote your booth. Most shows provide email signatures, social media templates, and guest invitations for the event. Make sure to tag the event in your social media posts to help attendees find you.
Schedule meetings in advance. Some shows, like Vinexpo America | Drinks America have business matchmaking platforms that make it easy to connect to and schedule dedicated time with buyers. You should also invite your current contacts. The opportunity to catch up and strengthen multiple existing relationships is a key benefit to trade shows.
Know and communicate your goals. Looking for a California distributor? Let your booth team know so they can be looking for out for that. Detail that goal in your show listings and profiles. The more who know, the better chance you'll find the connection.
At Your Booth
Keep your eyes on the crowd. Make eye contact with the people who pass by your stand. Don’t hide behind the table/counter etc. Step forward and be “friendly aggressive.”
Put your phone away, or at least put it on silent so you can engage with potential customers. You have two days to make the most of your investment. Don't waste your time (and investment) on the phone.
Can you tell your "story" in less than 1 minute? The video below covers Marketing Plans and Sales Goals. The advice in this video will help you craft your message as you practice what you will say to attendees as they pass by.
Booth Design – Best Practices
Tips for Connecting with the Right Partners
When talking to potential US buyers, find out if they are an importer, wholesaler (distributor), control-state buyer, retail/ restaurant buyer or a chain buyer.
The Exhibitor Education Video Series, Episode 2: US Import & Distribution Landscape: Understanding the Playing Field, covers different import and distribution models at work in the US market. Use this video to match up your market entry goals to the right model.
Ask what state(s) the buyer operates in; know whether it is an open or a control state. Open states generally use the pricing model outlined in the Price Setting Worksheet; control states set prices differently than open states and each control state may set prices differently than the next. A list of control states, along with their regulations can be found here on the National Alcohol and Beverage Control Association’s website.
Use the Price Setting Worksheet to calculate different pricing models for different markets and different buying models; this will tell you how to target your presentation, which key product attributes to emphasize and where to focus your price discussion.
Have the Answers
Having the answers to logistics questions can help prove that you’re ready for the market. Here are some examples of questions you should be prepared to answer:
Do you have an approved label for the US?
Are you currently imported and/or distributed in any states?
How many cases are in the US? How many cases are you able to immediately ship to the US?
If more product was requested, what is your timeline for scaling up production and how many cases would you be able to produce?