Fitness conventions can be a huge source of exposure for your company. Aside from building brand awareness, a convention is a great opportunity for your business to:

  • Connect with your market
  • Introduce/Sell your product
  • Network with other companies
  • Learn about industry trends

That being said, preparing for your first fitness convention can be nerve-wracking. There are a lot of logistics to consider: transportation, setup, bringing the right materials, keeping your team on the same page, etc.

If it all goes well, your hard work will pay off in a number of ways.

If it doesn’t, that’s time and money you’ll never get back.

Don’t worry, though. After you read this article, you’ll be better prepared for your first fitness convention.

We spoke with 5 top fitness companies about what they would recommend you do before attending your first fitness convention.

Have a Plan

“I often talk to brands that evaluate trade shows solely on the calculated ROI. I hear from them that the show wasn’t a success because it didn’t generate the sales they wanted and so they won’t be in attendance again. What they’re often overlooking is the ROO or Return on Objective, which is about networking and brand building. An event’s success is determined by both things and it’s important to set goals and communicate them to your entire team! Goals are much more easily measured (and met) when everyone is on the same page. Before you head to your first show, be sure to look at both.

I also can’t stress enough how important it is to roll with the punches. The likelihood that something will go “wrong” is high. Let’s say something didn’t make the shipment and you are without it, make up for it with booth conversation! Get people engaged and talking about your brand. Positivity is key!”

–Emily Keyser, Vital Proteins

 

Keep It Simple

“My advice would be to not worry about being too fancy. That means booth furnishings, employees, travel. Events are expensive, and you need to control those costs very early on. You can spend so much $$$ on signage, booth furnishings, flights, hotels etc – but keeping it simple and scrappy is beneficial. No one cares if your booth back-wall is 8ft vs. 10ft, or if your carpet isn’t padded. Refine your pitch, collect leads, and make connections.”

–Stefano Scalia, Rock Tape

 

Stress The Details

“For any company, it’s important to figure out what they want to accomplish at an expo and how they measure their success. So, if you’re into sales, figure out your customer/sale ratio and compare that to the expo expenses (booth cost, travel expenses, shipping expenses, personnel costs, etc.) and what the likelihood of being profitable is. Booth location is important, too, and will make a difference of 20 to 50% in sales. The number of competitors at an expo, size of the expo, number of days the expo is being held, and the hours it will run are to be considered before making the decision to exhibit or not.”

–Patrick Materna, The Stick – the original and best self-massage product since 1988.

 

Prepare to Follow-Up

“Marketing is about three things:

Creating Value:  Good trade show/event marketing starts way before the show itself.  It starts with creating value.  Creating a great product is perhaps the hardest step, both physically and strategically.

Communicating Value:  Once you have value, you need to communicate it.  At the show, the goal should be to facilitate a trial of (insert consumer sports preference/segmentation here).  Not only should your brand be experiential, but a follow up with a call to action (trackable limited time offer) should be included.

Capturing Value:  Your sales channels should capture value (monetize) with specialized offers (trackable and limited time offers) and touch customers multiple times.”

– Scott Thomas-Fitch, Rumble Roller

 

Synergy Is Key

“What I wish I had known before our first expo/convention was how important it was to have everyone at our booth ready to answer every question that came flying at us by consumers or potential buyers.

We sent one person from each division to our first expo which was a great concept in theory but not every single person is in the booth at the exact same time the entire time. Also, sometimes, the person who can best answer a marketing question is engaged in a different conversation they cannot be pulled away from.

Of course, it is impossible for every employee to know every answer about the entire company, but being prepared to answer most questions and then knowing whom to refer other questions to makes every show much more successful.

Now we have a “team meeting” at the start and end of each day of an expo to make sure we are all in sync with each other.”

–Kimmi Wernli, Crazy Richards Peanut Butter Company

The above advice should make you feel much more confident about your first fitness convention.

If you’ve already attended one, what would your advice be? Let us know in the comments below.