The idea of showcasing your organization to a great number of people in one place is an exciting and daunting task that can produce amazing results. If done incorrectly, a trade show exhibit may result in a waste of time and a loss of money. Promoting your business, products or services at a trade show is a major source for increasing your brand visibility and create relationships with potential clients, partners and suppliers during an actual face-to-face experience.
The key to real success in exhibiting first comes with preparation. Be clear on your who? what? when? where and why for this marketing endeavor. Start with your end goal in mind. Check out a few industry and non industry related exhibits for clarity, ideas and strategy and allow plenty of time for pre-show implementation.
With those in mind, take note of the next 5 tips that will help you exhibit like a pro in no time.
#1 Have clear goals for participation. Set targets for your desired number of leads, take note of your competitors that are registered and be prepared to communicate what makes you/your brand different. Set a goal of new partnership relationships you would like to come away with and determine your sales goal/sales value for every potential client connection made at the event.
#2 Pitch to your target audience. Who will be attending? Be sure to select your events carefully to ensure at least 50% of the crowd is within your niche and the right target audience for your business. This allows you to craft appealing messages and event offers specifically for your target market. Promote the event to your prospects, clients and network of connections using your most effective form of media advertising.
#3 Stand out with clear, engaging and consistent messages. You only get one chance to make a first impression and you’ll only have a few moments to get the attention of potential customers to your display booth. What “magnet” will you use to draw them in? How will you keep them for brief engagement?
Innovative display stands, eye-catching signage, marketing collateral and offers that appeal to the emotions of your target audience are all important. Make sure that your key messages are clear, simple, and consistent with the stand display and collateral you’re distributing. Meet with your team prior to the event to ensure that your message is communicated with confidence and consistency.
#4 Keep lead collection simple. Trade shows can be a frenzied event. Grabbing leads and turning them into prospects is one of the main reasons you are there. You don’t want to miss out on collecting potential client information. Tablets and/or interest cards are great for collecting contact details. Try collecting name and email only for speed and simplicity’s sake.
Don’t discount the old school methods here… using a raffle or competition to collect business or lead cards are quick and efficient. Team members can take notes about the person’s biggest pain point on the reverse. This can be a great way to start useful conversations, and sort through to genuine prospects. You may also want to utilize a hashtag campaign along with multiple prize drawings. These help connect you with leads on social media and give your audience a reason to return to your stand to collect their prize and engage further about your product or service. Don’t forget to take pictures of the winners and post them on social media
#5 Be savvy with giveaways and perks. Branded giveaways and promotional gifts are very important to have and distribute at your exhibit. These items should be imaginative, surprising, ideally relevant to your message and useful to your audience. All too many of us have come away from a show or expo with a bag full of product and literature that goes straight in the trash. If you’re planning a promotional giveaway, make it either useful to the recipient at the show or relevant enough to be kept and utilized over time.
Lastly, keep your display clean and uncluttered by presenting one or two forms of marketing pieces. Always be prepared with additional materials for relevant inquires. Oh… and finally, remember to check out the other stands during the show. Who’s the busiest? and What are they doing? Add these ideas to tasks for your next ‘go-round’ at trade show success and you will be exhibiting like a Pro!
M’Press Printing & Stationery creates customized packages of marketing displays and print collateral for trade shows and promotional marketing events. We’re here to “help you promote with excellence” at your exhibit/trade-show with banners, displays, marketing collateral and promotional products for your next exhibit.