Here, in no particular order, are several ways to reach out to prospect prior to the show:
Email: easy, cheap. All you have to do is sit down at your keyboard and tell people why youíre going to be at the show and what the benefits of coming by your booth might be.
mail: sending a
postcard or other direct mail piece is definitely a
way that stands out. Or course, the cost is more
than sending out a simple email. Costs for sending
direct mail start at about a buck a person (printing
plus postage) and go up depending on what youíre
sending. And then thereís the cost of creating the
direct mail piece, which will usually involve a
small team crafting the message, the subject, the
layout and the coordination of the production and
Telephone call: ah! the personal touch. Nothing beats the personal touch. Much more time-consuming, but if you target a select group of potential and current clients to let them know whatís going on at the booth during the show, it can pay off dividends.
Social media: more of a general Ďspray and prayí approach, but you can build a little buzz with clever and creative use of social media.
PR and Media: the use of public relations and media tends to get overlooked, but the act of sending a press release about your show appearance to industry media or pertinent local or regional media can help get your name out there.
What to include in your outreach?
The who, what, when, where, how and why of your appearance. The standard journalism approach: make sure people know where to find you, when and where the show takes place, your booth number, perhaps even a description and photo of your booth. Got a video from last year? It makes a great way to bring the show to life, especially if itís a client testimonial. Share photos on social media and include them in a press release. Photos also are well-received in emails and direct pieces, and make them easier to read.
And finally, give them the reason WHY they should come to your booth. Perhaps its a new product launch, or a new facet of a current product. Or a way to get a sweet deal only at the show. Or a special time to meet the CEO or other company wag. In any event, pre-show marketing can take many forms Ė and itís work, but itís all part of the process of making your tradeshow a success!