show takes a significant amount of a company’s marketing budget so it’s
important to make the most of the opportunity. The payoff can be higher and
quicker than many other marketing channels. Winning at trade shows depends
greatly upon the work done in advance.
Investigate the Show.
When you are choosing which trade shows to attend do a little homework.
Find out how long the show has been in existence, the past attendance
numbers, the number of vendors, and the advertising planned by the show
management. If possible, talk with other companies who have participated in
the past and get their reviews.
Picking the Booth Space.
Ask early for a floor plan so you can see which booths are available along
the center of the show floor. You can have the best displays and products
in the world, but if you are tucked away in a corner you may become the
show’s best kept secret. Don’t wait until the last minute to reserve your
space; the best locations will go quickly.
Take advantage of advertising opportunities offered by the show management,
but don’t leave all of the advertising up to them. Make certain you let all
customers & prospects know of your plans to exhibit at the show by pre-show
marketing. A drip campaign is often successful, using several
channels, such as e-mail, direct mail, personal invites from sales staff &
Get the Attendee List.
Most shows provide an advance list of registered attendees for the
show. Cross-check the list with your own database to find which customers
are attending. Then segment the list by company size, geographic location
or assigned sales rep. Use the list in your pre-show marketing efforts to
drive booth traffic.
Strategically Plan Your Exhibit.
Don’t try to cram every product detail on your trade show booth
graphics – your brochures should contain all of that information. Any trade
show exhibit should quickly tell a prospective customer 1.) who you are, 2.)
what you do and 3.) how you can help them. Consider what needs to happen in
the space to meet & exceed your trade show goals.
Use Technology to Enhance Your Presentation.
Light, motion and color attract attention, so use this to your benefit.
Depending on your product or service, you may want to include interactive
presentations, videos or live demonstrations in your trade show
exhibit. The more
involved your visitors are, the more likely they will be to remember you
Have a system in place to get the names and email addresses of all your
guests and follow up with every guest after the event. There are many
technologies available which collect more information than a traditional
badge scanner. At least get a clipboard to handwrite notes!
the show ends, your marketing campaign isn’t over. 79% of leads generated
at trade shows are not followed up afterwards (http://www.ceir.org)
) — what a waste! Follow-through by continuing the marketing campaign and
ensure that sales reps keep in contact with prospects they’ve met at the