10 Top Tips for Trade Show Marketing Success

Business of all sizes really should be launching and promoting their products at trade shows. Why? They are widely attended by your customers, clients, competitors, and the press. They’re a great way to increase your brand awareness, network with fellow professionals, and boost your sales.

But like all marketing techniques, experiential marketing is not something you can enter into blind. You don’t need to be a pro, but you need to know what you’re doing. Whether you’re due to attend your first, or you hundredth trade show; here are 10 top tips for event marketing success:

1. Attend the Right Show

With hundreds of shows to choose from, it’s imperative you choose the right show. Are you looking to sell products? Or do you simply want to raise your company profile? To choose the right show, you first need to establish what you want to achieve.

When you know your goals, you can make sure you visit the right exhibition. Regulars on the trade show circuit will already know which shows are the most effective for them. It sounds obvious, but if you get this wrong, your whole experience could prove to be an expensive waste of time.

2. Use a Checklist

A pre-exhibition checklist is an essential component of trade show marketing success. Everyone in your team will have different ideas of what constitutes success, which can blur the goal lines when you’re exhibiting. By discussing your goals, strategies, and tactics prior to the show, you can help keep everyone on the same page.

This checklist will also help you triple check you have all the equipment you need. There would be nothing worse than running out of products half way through the day, or realising you left your exhibition stand at the office. A checklist will help you keep on top of everything, and ensure the day runs smoothly.

3. Pre-Event Marketing

Event marketing is only effective when you have a client base in attendance. Relying on chance sales, enquires, and success is not the best method for success. Surely it is more productive to sell to people who are excited by your products?

Create a ‘buzz’ about your trade show appearance with comprehensive pre-show marketing. Use YouTube to share mini adverts and teaser trailers, run a Facebook competition, or simply ask your Twitter followers to publicise the event. You should also utilise your company website and offline marketing collateral.

4. Get the Right Stand

If you had an unlimited budget, you could really go to town on your exhibition stand design. The truth is, most of us don’t have that luxury. Even so, it is important to invest in the right stand for your business needs.

Some options worth researching include custom built, modular, pop-up, and even two storey stands. In need of some inspiration? Be sure to check out this post filled with some great examples of exhibition stands.

5. Make it Memorable

Once you’ve decided on the stand for you, you need to make it stand out. There will potentially be hundreds of exhibitors and even more visitors to the exhibition. Your business needs to command attention.

Exhibition graphics are a great way to brighten up your stand and can easily incorporate your company branding. You should also think about A/V equipment, the use of lighting, the space and seating at your stand, and what is on offer when someone visits.

trade show

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdgovpics/8186054282/

6. Have a Strategy

So you’ve attracted a view visitors to you stand, what now? It is vital that you have a comprehensive strategy for achieving your trade show goals. While each member of staff will work differently, you all need to be working for a common target.

Are you going for the showy demonstration and hard sell? Or are you going to be helpful and in the background? Decide what works best for your company, product and team, and make sure it is consistent across your exhibition.

7. Properly Manned Stand

How many times have you been in a shop, needed assistance, and noticed an absence of members of staff? Frustrating isn’t it? The same can be said for customers at a trade show. They may be moments away from buying and just need some last minute advice. If your stand isn’t manned properly, they might walk away without buying.

Ensure the colleagues working your stand have a rounded knowledge of your products and company. They need to be warm, welcoming and approachable. They also need to be professional. They’re the face of your company after all.

8. Giveaways

Everyone loves a giveaway. Not only do they attract attention, they can also boost your sales. Encourage people to visit your stand with the allure of a competition. Make sure it is easy to enter, and everything they need to know is out in the open.

Exhibition giveaways don’t have to cost the Earth either. You can give branded goods away for example – most companies have plenty of printed pens lying around. You could also give away one large prize, and a few discounts for runners up. This will encourage sales, and the all important repeat purchase.

9. Walk the Floor

Trade show marketing is about more than driving sales. You should also make the most of the networking opportunities it provides. Make sure someone from the team takes the time to walk the floor, and see who else is attending.

It may present opportunities for collaborations with other companies, or you may find someone looking for your particular product. Walking the floor is great exposure for your company. Use the opportunity to hand out business cards, and tell people where your stand is.

10. Follow Up

Converting leads to sales is the ultimate goal of experiential marketing. And you need to know how to do it correctly. Following up after a trade show is easy, but you need to get the timing right.

Give people chance to contact you, but not time to forget you. Explore multiple channels – email, direct mail, social media, phone calls – and see which proves to be the most successful. Don’t expect people to come to you. Make a conscious effort to get out there, and reach out to them.

Trade show marketing success depends on a number of factors. But when laid bare in this way, you can see how simple it is to get everything right. Exhibitions are great for exposure and sales, so what are you waiting for?!

This post has been supplied by RB Design & Display, one of the UK’s leading exhibition stand contractors. Visit their website today to find out more about choosing the right stand for your next trade show.

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