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How to Have a Successful Trade Show Strategy

Greetings fellow marketers, as industry veterans, we are happy to share a few key insights with you, when preparing for a trade show

What are the steps for your business to prepare a successful trade show strategy?

Pre-show Marketing
On a busy show floor, standing out from the competition can be a challenge. Over the years, it has evolved into what can only be described as majestic; meets sensory overload. Gone are the days of velcro posters and easels. For serious exhibitors looking to make their mark, engage prospects and convert them to sales – a solid Pre, Live, Post event marketing strategy is a must.

Engaging prospects prior to the event is crucial. Building excitement and exclusivity by starting the conversation pre-show enables you to start a dialogue with the delegate before their shoes even hit the show floor.

How can this be done?

One way is by developing a dedicated landing page, specific to the event you are attending. Leverage your company’s existing marketing initiatives and communicate a clear value proposition as to exactly why they should visit you at at your trade show booth. Your goal is bridge the gap between deciding and doing. This can only be done by creating a genuine feeling thru an authentic experience.

Use this pre-show marketing to initiate that feeling,

create anticipation for what they will experience, while still leaving a little mystery. You may also use this communication vehicle as an opportunity to advertise contests, set up or book meetings, initiate a community discussion about your product(s) or services, invite delegates to VIP events or even offer value-added information about the host city/venue (this is especially fun if the venue is in your city).

 

Make sure you’re a crowd stopper

Humans have an 8 seconds attention span (1 second longer than a goldfish) – so get inspired and think outside the box!

 

Design your space with the attendee journey in mind: consider how much time you have with your audience, what’s going on around you, set specific goals ahead of time. Create a buzz in your space with a fun or meaningful experience that gets the delegates involved. Ensure this experience does not detract you from engaging and attracting the right prospects, but rather that it draws in your target audience . Your trade show booth design doesn’t need to be super elaborate, but it does need to be professional and properly reflect your

organization. Yes, this can be done in a 10’ x 10’ space, and even smaller!

Leave a lasting impression, get results with Brand Ambassadors.

Don’t underestimate the value of the event and how it will impact your organization’s bottom line even months down the road. Ensure your trade show budget is reflective of the impression you want to leave. For smaller companies who may not have a huge staff or aren’t sure how to properly engage with show delegates, hire a qualified brand ambassador or two. They will work with you to understand your goals and will make it happen. These highly trained, dynamic individuals are skilled in the art of conversation. They are uniquely qualified to perceive a strong lead and can effectively engage and disengage while representing your company with the utmost professionalism.

For those reps who are working the trade show booth, a few IMPORTANT things to avoid, some of these may seem obvious, and yet we have all seen it.

Here goes: don’t eat in your space, don’t answer your email, text or take a phone call. Don’t use the time to catch up with your colleague on last night’s episode of the Bachelor!

 

Don’t forget the SWAG

Never to be under estimated is the SWAG, people LOVE their swag. Unique giveaways with key messaging or related directly to your business or as part of a exhibit marketing campaign are ideal. I once saw a company giving away Magic Eight Balls with the theme “let’s create the future together”. Cool, right?

Continuing the conversation post show

Continue the conversation post show via social media, email/sms blasts, advertise future events or opportunities for education, product reveals and more. Partner with an exhibit marketing company that has the digital tools to help you measure event ROI, as well as the continued exposure and content-push post show. Work closely with these pros to develop a solid pre, live, post event marketing strategy, and then rock it!

― July 17, 2017

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