You probably thought that trade shows were dead. That is far from the case. About $12.8 billion was spent on trade shows in 2016. They are still very effective. But you need to manage them properly.
How to Create a Stellar Trade Show Strategy
Trade shows are a great place to promote your business, with some in person networking with customers and clients. Build new relationships for your company and promote your business by nailing your trade show presence.
There are a lot of great reasons to go to trade shows. One of the biggest is that 92% of people that attend go to learn more about new products. Follow these tips to make a trade show less stressful.
- Set a measurable target. Having a goal, you can measure means you can accurately judge the success of your show visit. Choose a target, like meeting a particular client, collecting a certain number of new email addresses for your mailing list or identifying a business you’d like to work with in the future.
- Research. Check the show guide to find out who else is going to be at the show. Identify your competition. What can you do to stand out from anybody presenting a similar offer? Is there anyone attending who you want to meet?
- Design your display stand wisely. It’s tempting to spend your entire budget on the largest show space you can afford, but you’d be better to plan properly what you want to take and how much space you need to show that off. A huge, half empty stand won’t look as good as a smaller stand with the space used properly.
- Prepare everything you’ll need in advance of the show. Work out what you’ll want to take and which of your staff will man the stand. Give everyone set tasks so they know whether they’ll be talking to customers on the stand, or walking the floor checking out the competition. Order business cards and brochures in plenty of time. Consider adding custom stickers to the back of brochures with the show details, so people can remember where they met you.
- Create a plan for the day. Allow plenty of time for travelling to the show and plan in staff breaks. Remember to allow for set-up and pack down in your time plan. Make sure everyone knows where they need to be to keep things running smoothly.
- Spread the word about your attendance. Make sure your customers know you’ll be there. This means they can plan to visit you and find out more about your company, place orders and meet you. Add your stand number into staff email signatures, and share it on social media and your website. Some exhibitors share videos on the day of how to find them, which can be a great tool in the confused halls of a large trade show.
- Choose the right staff to work on the stand. Make sure you’ve chosen the right people. Anybody working the show needs to be able to answer unexpected questions about the business without much preparation and be confident chatting to different people all day. Choose sociable, charismatic, knowledgeable staff to man the stand.
- Plan the follow up. After the trade show is over, what are you going to do? Add any new contacts to your system. Go through any business cards you collected and see if there is anyone useful that you’d like to get in touch with.
These tips are pretty straightforward, but they can make a huge difference with your trade show marketing strategy.
Make the Most of Your Trade Show Marketing
Trade show marketing is a great way to generate new business. However, you need to do your due diligence. These tips should help you get off on the right foot.