So you’ve come along and decided to take your marketing efforts to the trade show floor. Here’s the tips my team employees for success and getting the most leads out of a trade show as possible. Things to consider are that trade shows can cost lots of money for tables and have lots of associated fees, not to mention travel cost if your’e traveling out of town. So for us when we hit the show floor, we want to bring our “A” game. So without further ado, here are our 5 tips and best practices to standing out from the crowd.
- It starts before the trade show does. The key to success at trade show happens before the show even begins. Think of a trade show as a game day for your sports game. If you don’t practice and lift weights in training, odds are you won’t perform well in the game. Success at the trade show means you must concentrate 80% of your efforts on marketing your appearance before the trade show. Then 20% on the actual show itself, people aren’t going to care what font your logo is in so don’t have silly debates in the office over it before the trade show even starts.
- Post regularly on your social media that you’re attending the show, and let your customer base know that you’ll be there. Current customers will have connections going to the show and may even be attending the show. Word of mouth spreads fast at trade shows, so you may have satisfied customers already there that can inform others about you, so long as they know you’re actually there!
- Connect and engage with other companies listed. Many trade shows post guest lists and even floor maps of attendants prior to show on their website. Use this, as a tool to build a soft lead list. Then engage with meaningful content and messages to those companies, and their appropriate representatives on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Now you are building credibility, and breaking the ice before even attending the show. Warning, don’t send a generic email/ copy and pasted message to all of these soft leads, tailor your messages appropriately.
- Utilize the trade show social media and hashtags in the weeks following up to the show. Keep track of the trade show’s social media and advertising and be sure you use their show specific hashtag or hashtags in your posts. This way any viewer that looks at the trade show’s tag sees your regular postings. This now build’s you credibility and more awareness as other connections now will now associate you, with the trade show.
- Be properly prepared for the show. Now that your’e line is a mile long, you should have your best players there so you can score! Too many companies send their rookies and newer employees to shows. This is the opposite of what you want to do. These are the ambassadors of your brand, to potentially thousands of people (pending how big the trade show is). You should have your best and most outgoing, high energy, and friendly representatives attending. Put your best people in front of the most leads possible and you are bound for a successful show!
Well there are your tips for trade show success. There are more good practices to have and some practices to avoid at shows, like renting big fancy tables, that are unnecessary, or spending too much on promotional items that don’t differentiate you from the crowd. Employ your best trade show tactics, avoid the pitfalls of bad marketing, and you will be setting yourself up for successful opportunities.