You’ve chosen the perfect trade show and lined up a premium location with guaranteed foot traffic. So, how do you get that traffic to stop at your booth out of hundreds of options? Prepare a marketing plan, including pre-show, onsite, and post-show activities. With adequate preparation and a solid plan, your trade show venture will generate the buzz and leads you’re counting on. Here are some guidelines to help build your plan:
Once you've purchased your booth space, start by informing customers of your presence, engaging and inviting them to stop by. You'll also need to create a knock out booth.
Inform the Audience. Customers want to reach you, but they need to know where to find you. Initially, inform the public of your presence at the show with a press release. Next send an email blast to your agency file and the registrant list that includes information about the show and any special promotions or details about your booth and company. Lastly, send personal invitations to your top show prospects and highest priority leads. Check with your show contact to see if there are any other exhibitor outreach programs available such as the Exhibitor Invites Program.
- Engage the Audience. Now that your customers know you'll be exhibiting at the show, don’t let them forget. Regularly post curated content about your booth, as well as shared posts from the convention’s account on social media. This provides reminders and encouragement to register and visit your booth when the time comes. Blogging about product reveals or fun booth activities will also keep attendees interested.
Booth Preparation.The marketing won’t matter if your booth isn’t eye catching, interactive, and fresh. Choose a creative theme and design and keep one cohesive look with all signage and marketing materials. Big, bold, and colorful signs will draw in attendees that didn’t receive your pre-show messages and a cohesive look helps your loyal customers find your booth. Lastly, train your team to be engaging and informative. Ensure they know how to draw people in and determine a genuine lead from a passerby.
During the Show
Show time! While thriving off pre-show marketing efforts you must continue to market yourself at the show to new audiences. Stay connected through interactivity and quality giveaways.
Stay Connected. Continue your social media campaign by employing convention hashtags and releasing exclusive info via your platforms. Consider adding a location based service like Foursquare to engage attendees and get them checking in to your booth. Providing a QR code that connects to landing pages or forms, also engages customers and helps generate leads. You should also consider renting badge scanners through the show to better capture new leads, so you can easily follow up with them after the event.
Quality Giveaways. Giveaways are a sure fire method for generating traffic, but take it a step further than simply collecting business cards. The giveaway should only allow entries from quality leads. Brainstorm an idea that only your target audience is interested in receiving and that reflects your brand in order to filter out generic entries. Bonus Tip: Give them something branded that they will actually use. Consider giving away mobile chargers, calendars, coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, umbrellas, or other things they can use again and again after they leave the convention.
Once the show comes to a close you need to ensure your hard work has paid off by converting new leads. Follow up with personalized thank you emails and a blog post highlighting the show. People love to see themselves, so include photos or videos of attendees at your booth and remind them of the experience they had with your company.
You don’t have to have the most expensive booth or swag to attract attendees. If you take the time to create a focused and cohesive campaign that is executed well from the beginning to end, you will have great success!