How to get more orders at trade shows

Have you ever exhibited at a trade show and wondered if it was worth it? You had lots of conversations where they said they’ll order through their wholesaler? Well, guess what, those orders never happened.

Same thing used to happen in field sales. You walk into a shop, sample the product and assume that’s enough to win the order. The reality is that you’re much more likely to win the order, if you send the order to their wholesaler yourself.

That’s why we built our wholesale transfer order product. Where every rep can quickly access pricing and record orders across dozens of wholesalers, and an automated email gets sent to all the relevant people (customer, wholesaler and rep) in realtime.

Earlier this year we decided to apply this concept to trade shows, and dozens of our customers had our QR codes on their stand at the NEC in April for Food and Drink Expo.

Now when someone visits their stand, they can scan the QR code, see a list of wholesalers that they can order through and create an order in seconds. Great, for if you can offer a deal on the day to promote urgency and secure the order there and then.

Something along the lines of: “If I put the order through now, we can get you a free case” often helps close the sale.

What should you do now to take more orders at upcoming trade shows?

  1. If your reps don’t already do wholesale transfer orders, speak to your wholesalers about sending them orders if their customers visit your stand. Most of the regional wholesalers will be thrilled that you’re helping them generate sales.

  2. Have an action plan for if someone visits your stand and wants to order your product but doesn’t have an account with any of your wholesalers. A lot of wholesalers are very happy for you to send them leads. Ultimately, these wholesalers are always looking for new customers themselves.

  3. If someone isn’t ready to order, set up a “distributor” on Bowimi called “Samples” where you can quickly record interest in products and contact information.

  4. Make it as easy as possible to order. Print QR codes onto cards and flyers for people to take with them if you can’t convert them on the spot. Ensure everyone on the stand has quick access to the ordering QR code or the Bowimi app.


The goal is always to win an order there and then, but if that’s not possible you might want to send them samples or visit their store in the coming months.

At the NEC (Birmingham), one of our customers did 13 orders in a single day through Epicurium. With the upcoming trade shows in London (where our customers have a strong field sales presence) I can imagine they’ll be converting at least double that number.

If you’re exhibiting at Cafe Culture, Speciality Fine Food, Lunch or any other trade shows this year, and you’re looking to take orders at your stand, contact me on

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