There is no doubt that trade shows have the potential to be very powerful marketing vehicles that can deliver your brand’s message, advertise your product or service and create opportunities for your team members to meet with potential clients.
You’ll have a targeted audience in attendance, looking to learn all they can about the latest and greatest in your industry and there is no better environment than these shows to build your customer list that will include many potential leads.
Despite the power of trade show booth design done well, not to mention an audience of potentially interested customers, not all companies and their respective booths take full advantage of the opportunity presented to them at these shows. This is largely because of only a few key factors, that when considered and properly actioned, can help increase the return on your investment immensely.
First Impressions Go a Long Way
You know what they say, first impressions matter, and the same can be said when these potential clients first lay eyes on your trade show booth. Almost immediately, clients will form their first impression of your brand and company, based on things like your trade show skills, the number of booth staff you have and the size of the audience gathered at your booth. Are those that are gathered engaged and interacting with your team members and exhibit marketing materials? Are they excited to be there? What are your team members like to speak with? All of these things matter, and clients will pick up on them and decide whether your booth is even worth visiting. It’s worth the time and energy to create a proper plan that your team will be able to execute while on the show floor.
Preparation is Key
Like many things in life, if you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. Long before the day of the trade show, it’s vitally important for your team to create a gameplan for the show and how you can maximize your returns. A few of these things to consider are:
Doing recon and research beforehand: Know your audience, know who will be and won’t be attending and why. Will your competitors be present? Which of your current clients will be attending? What demographics are the folks running the show targeting?
Reach out pre-show: Many shows will release a list of exhibitors before the day of the show. Find that list and reach out to the companies that are attending that you may like to do business with. While you’re both at the show, it’s a great opportunity to meet and talk business.
Create a demo that will wow the crowds: It’s not enough for you and your team to show up at the show with pamphlets to hand out. Clients will forget about you, or not even stop to see what you’re all about at all. Think of a demo that you can have on site that will catch people’s eyes and cause them to hang around your booth to see it in action. The more people you have stop to watch, the bigger your booth’s crowd will be, which will cause even more people to stop to see what all the fuss is about.
Use the right kind of booth: A common mistake that even veteran trade show exhibitors do is use the wrong type of booth. The last thing you want is for your booth to be over crowded simply because you have too much furniture or inventory there. You want people to be able to mingle and move around to see what you have to offer. Plan your booth ahead of time and make sure you have the right amount of room to ensure that your audience will be comfortable visiting you.
Make sure you spend your trade show budget wisely: This means taking the time to really think about what is needed to maximize your booth’s effectiveness. Mitigate frivolous spending by researching sources for the things you’ll need. Think cost effective as well as simply effective.
Best Use of Your Time
When you’re finally at the show, you’ll want to make sure that you and your team are using your time effectively to maximize the number of solid leads you can generate over the duration of the show. You’ll want to make sure that your team is up to date and ready to go with accurate and relevant information that potential clients will want to know about, you social media team working the networks online to help generate buzz and entice more attendees to stop by while they’re at the show as well as have a list that your team members can record names on for potential leads. Team members should be engaging with the audience at all times, and actively seeking attendees that are near enough to strike up a conversation with. They should be able to relay all of the most important bits of information you’re looking to share at the show in a matter of minutes in a well rehearsed yet personable pitch. Training your booth staff should always be a top priority, as they will be your brand ambassadors for the duration of the trade show.
Everyone Loves Free Stuff
Don’t forget the power of giveaways and freebies that call out your brand in an easily recognizable way. Light-up cogs, bright lanyards, neat t-shirts - whatever you can create easily and at a cost that aligns well with your show budget that will continue to market your company long after the attendee leaves your booth are incredibly powerful and will be sought after at the show.
Contest also keep people at your booth as they sign up to win a cool prize, and also give your booth staff an opportunity to speak with them and deliver your message and potentially create a lead worth having.
With the right preparation, trade shows can be an incredibly useful way to generate buzz and hype, create relationships with new clients, strengthen existing ones, and make exciting announcements that help grow your business. They’re worth putting the time and energy into planning a custom trade show booth design that will stand out from the crowd. You want to utilize every opportunity that you will have in order to make sure that you reach the largest number of targeted leads as possible to ensure that your ROI is as high as it can be - and it can be very high with the right amount of work and preparation.