Trade shows are some of the best events for growing your business. They offer an opportunity to engage people in your brand, get to know your competitors better, and network to expand your business connections.
To get the most out of your next exhibit or exhibition, you need to develop an effective trade show marketing strategy. This guide will help you do it properly and make an excellent impression that will take your lead generation, sales, and ROI to the next level.
What is trade show marketing?
Trade show marketing refers to promotional activities at an industry event where you can present your company, demonstrate the latest products or services, and entice people to join your customer base. It’s about showcasing what you do, what benefits you offer, and what makes your business unique.
Are trade shows considered marketing?
Trade shows are marketing events. They allow you to spread the word about your business and enlarge your customer base.
What makes them unique is a chance to meet face to face with your target audience and let them explore your new products or services first-hand. In-person events can help you boost engagement, influence people’s purchasing decisions, forge meaningful relationships, and drive sales.
What are the benefits of trade shows?
Trade shows can provide you with the following benefits:
- Raising brand awareness – Trade shows provide an opportunity to introduce your brand or new products/services to a broad audience. You can showcase what you do, introduce your brand to industry experts, and gain better exposure.
- Generating leads – Trade show attendees are highly-targeted consumers looking for products or services that provide real value. Meeting them in person allows you to capture their attention and turn them into qualified leads.
- Increasing sales – Consumers are more likely to purchase when they can experience a particular product or service first-hand. As a result, you might be able to close many deals on the spot.
- Learning more about the competition – Knowing your competitors better will help you stand out from the crowd. You can gain an insight into their marketing strategy, consumer interaction, and more. Most importantly, you can see how people react to their offers.
- Networking opportunities – Trade shows gather industry experts under one roof, thus opening up more networking opportunities. Many are looking to partner with innovative businesses, so you have a chance to forge a brilliant alliance.
How do you promote a trade show?
Have you defined your goals and objectives, established the budget, and locked down the logistics? Have you researched the participants and other attendees? Then it’s time to spread the word about your trade show. Here are the crucial steps to take.
1. Use your website, email, and social media
Your blog is excellent for informing your target audience about the upcoming trade show. You can create a dedicated landing page as well to highlight the event.
Email is another superb option. You can send a generic email blast or personalize each message to spark more interest. Make sure you include the link to your landing page.
Social media promotions can help you reach a broader audience. Create one or two relevant, memorable, easy-to-spell hashtags to spread the word faster.
2. Prepare marketing materials
You need high-quality marketing materials to promote your products or services. Keep the flyers, pamphlets, brochures, or other materials concise so that you can grab attention instantly and avoid overwhelming the consumers.
3. Design an attention-grabbing booth
Your trade show booth should reflect your brand values and compel people to stop by and engage with your brand (with the help of an expert contractor).
Design eye-catching signage, graphics, and other messaging opportunities to attract visitors. Create a comfortable seating area with refreshments and mobile charging stations to entice people to stay.
4. Plan in-booth presentations and product demos
Your in-booth presentations and product demos can make or break your trade show. Keep them short and sweet to drive engagement and sales. That means no unnecessary information and lengthy demonstrations. Highlight the most relevant features and benefits and make every demo exciting.
Avoid being too salesy because you might drive away many potential leads. They know you’re trying to sell, but they don’t want you to annoy them. Use soft-selling techniques and make conversations instead of pitches. That way, you’ll create a delightful experience and build meaningful relationships.
5. Create interactive experiences
The most successful trade shows offer incentives to compel visitors to stick around longer.
You can host a workshop, offer Q&A discussions, and prepare interactive media like VR games to create an unforgettable experience. Fun activities like contests and giveaways provide immersive experiences perfect for entertaining the visitors.
6. Give away useful freebies
Many exhibitors give away pens, keychains, phone cases, and other stuff that most people leave behind. Make an effort to prepare useful freebies that won’t end up in the trash.
Give away irresistible trade show swag like mobile device chargers, reusable water bottles, and leather notebooks. Creative T-shirts and exclusive offers, such as free eBooks and digital coupons, are always a good idea, too.
Trade show marketing can help you extend your reach, boost engagement, maximize lead generation and sales, and seize new partnership opportunities. Our tips above will help you enjoy all those benefits and get the most out of your future events.
Remember to follow up with all the leads and prospects after the show. Thank them for taking an interest in your brand, and use nurturing tactics to guide them through your sales funnel. You’ll convert them into customers before you know it because trade show attendees are a highly-targeted audience.
Do you need a partner for planning your next trade show? The Hotel Show Pros can help you make everything run smoothly, without delays or budget overruns.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you stand out and make lasting impressions!