You found MAKO Design, a prototype design company with end-to-end design services, the design is done, the prototype is complete, the patent is filed, you’ve found a manufacturer and are ready to take your design to the market. Now it’s time to take the next step of your invention.
Summer is fast approaching and trade shows are springing up left and right all across the globe. As a prototype design company, MAKO Design knows the importance of being involved in the design community. Attending and exhibiting at a trade show provides extensive exposure for one’s product, builds networks with other businesses and gives inventors the opportunity to be immersed in a community of other design creatives.
That being said, simply setting up a booth in a sea of other exhibits will generate little direction or awareness for your invention. Here are a few pointers we’ve collected from Forbes and HuffPost to ensure that you’re more than just another booth at your next trade show:
1. Know exactly what you want
Prior to attending a trade show, set a specific objective of what you want to accomplish from this event. Is it finding inspiration for your prototype design? Building a network of manufacturers, distributors or salespersons?Building market presence? Determine measures of ROI that you can look at after the show so you can see what tactics work and what doesn’t.
2. Look sharp, be sharp and be engaging
Do not sit down at your table. Push it up against the booth wall, stand up and be ready. Tell people exactly what your product does. No metaphors until after you provide the specifics.
3. Be assertive, not aggressive
Be willing to introduce yourself to anybody who walks by but DON’T be somebody who won’t let them leave or get in a word. Observe and listen, then take the conversation in the direction they want to go.
4. Respond to requests as fast as you can and set appointments right at the show
Type/scan in business cards during the show and at the hotel room right afterwards. Try to follow up by email or LinkedIn that night or even a phone call by the next day. The more you wait the more time they have to forget you.
5. Show interest in others first
Explore other booths and trade contact info with everyone. Ask questions about their prototype design and why they’re here. You never know who you will meet and what they can do for you.
Attendees explore the tradeshow floor at the 2017 CES Trade Show, an annual event that showcases more than 3,900 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more. The conference program includes more than 300 conference sessions and more than 170K attendees from 150 countries.
About: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to startups, small manufacturers, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry's leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Click HERE to learn more about MAKO Design + Invent!