There was a time when succeeding in a trade show meant showing up and shaking a few hands. But, with an ever-expanding competition pool, you need to do more than stand behind your booth and smile if you want to achieve a high ROI. You need to have a comprehensive plan for before, during, and after your trade show.
The Pre-Show Checklist
A trade show is one of the most effective face-to-face marketing strategies. As such, you should make significant preparations for it. Before the show:
Not only do you need to register for important trade shows, but you also need to do it early. This should ensure you nail down a premium booth space. It should also protect you from missing any event, should your schedule get busy.
Set Your Goals
What do you wish to accomplish for your business? Are you trying to boost sales? Or acquire more leads? Set your goals early. They will act as both a guide and a benchmark for your success.
Create a Buzz
You need to get people excited about your event way before it begins. You could create a unique hashtag on Twitter or post a series of related blog posts on your website. Other ways to spread to the word include:
§ Email blasts
§ A social media campaign
§ Video teasers
§ An online press release
Add that personal touch to your event by personally reaching out to leads. Share detailed information about the event with your current contacts and customers. Tell them what they can expect.
At the Show
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 4 out of every 5 attendees in a trade show have buying authority. At the show, you want to collect as many leads as possible.
Make an Impression
You have a few seconds to wow passersby. You don’t want to skimp on the quality of branding or graphics on your trade show displays Communicate exactly what your brand is about in the shortest time possible.
Bring Your Best Team
Imagine a booth attendant who sits down every five minutes to send a quick tweet. Tragic, right? Your team reflects on your whole company. Make sure everyone understands and performs their role.
Engage Your Visitors
Don’t rush your prospects. Let them walk around the booth until they are comfortable then gently engage them in conversation.
Incorporate well-planned and effective games or giveaways into your display. You can also use technology to reach out to prospects both on the floor and those who couldn’t make it.
The Follow Up
The trade show doesn’t end when it does. In fact, what you do after the event is by far more important than your actions during it. To make sure that your efforts had the intended effect:
§ Send emails thanking everyone for their attendance – Give personal attention to leads that you feel good about and provide them with a link to further information.
§ Nurture good leads – These include prospects who responded to your email.
§ Keep blogging and posting about the event.
§ Use the goals you set pre-show to track your performance.
A trade show is like a battlefield. If you go in without a game plan, you will probably accrue countless casualties. Allow the experts at TrueBlue Exhibits to help you create the best plan for your next show.