Trade shows and exhibitions are a great opportunity to showcase the products and services your organisation offers to attract customers, boost sales and/or increase brand awareness. Participation in these sorts of events can be expensive and so it is very important to adopt strategies to maximise the return on that investment.
icatchers’ long experience assisting clients preparing for trade shows and exhibitions has given us insight on just how to do that. By paying attention to the following items and implementing them, you can ensure your trade show experience is a positive one.
1. Publicise you are participating
Don’t just pitch up unannounced to an event but, instead, publicise the fact that you are participating as widely as possible. This could take the form of email and social media campaigns directed at existing and potential customers informing them you will be at the event.
Your emails and posts should briefly outline what product or service you will be highlighting and inviting them to drop by your booth to find out how your organisation can solve their business problems for them. Don’t forget to give them details on how to find you at the show.
Don’t neglect other opportunities for publicity including exhibitor listings the organisers might be compiling, relevant print and electronic media outlets or social media influencers and bloggers. The organisers may have a list of those invited who may be interested in your products or services for inclusion in their publications.
2. Make an impact
Your booth must have impact to stand out among those at the show, to attract attendees into them and be remembered once they’ve gone home. We’ve covered some strategies in a previous post on Trade Show Pre-planning which you can refer to.
In a nutshell, booths created by professionals are much, much more effective than any ad hoc effort and will amply repay the costs of their design and construction. They will support your marketing message in an eye-catching and memorable way and channel the flow of visitors through the booth without any compromise to comfort.
3. Create excitement around your display
Equally vital to maximising the ROI from trade show appearances is to create a buzz around the booth during the show. Show attendees are attracted to booths where there is something going on such as product demonstrations, interactive technology such as touch screens, booth hosts to answer their questions and video and audio presentations.
Special offers available only at the show can be a powerful way of attracting people into the booth and converting them into customers. Other strategies include offering refreshments to visitors and having a good supply of thoughtfully chosen promotional items that people are going to want to add to their swag bags.
4. Engage, engage, engage, with your potential customers
Engaging with attendees once they enter the booth is essential. There should be personnel on hand to talk to, answer any questions and to chat with potential clients to get a clearer idea of the problems they face and how your organisation can best help them. There should, of course, also be an ample supply of marketing collateral for visitors to pick up if they haven’t got the time to stop and chat.
One very important aspect of engaging with visitors to the booth is to collect their contact details which be easily done by asking them to handover their business cards or signing in on an iPad or other device. This is usually more successful in return for some inducement like a voucher or a branded pen.
It should also be possible to obtain a list of show attendees if they have to register on arrival at the event. Anyone added to your contact lists as a result of the show should be flagged which will help in assessing the ROI on the show if they are converted into customers later.
5. Make follow up a priority after the show
It hardly needs to be said that following up on contacts made at the show should be an urgent priority within a few days of the show’s end. Any outstanding questions need to be answered and promised information packs or samples dispatched.
This step seems so obvious but it is often neglected by organisations which limits them to those prospects who get in touch by themselves. A timely phone call and email follow-ups can work wonders in keeping your organisation front-of-mind for prospects met at the show until they’re ready to buy.
Now you are set to maximise the return on investment, why not chat to me about ensuring the design of the display enables this further. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office on 1300 422 824 to ask any questions or inquire about a quote.