The marketing world has changed and a number of companies today wonder if trade shows are still worth in this digital era. Even if many people think that digital marketing is the right answer for doing business, things are not so simple.
According to some statistics, we can easily understand the importance of trade shows nowadays. For example, 58% of people who work in the industry prefer to meet colleagues and vendors and talk to them directly at shows, 76% of decision makers who attend are interested in buying and 50% of the participants are there for the first time, so they can be potential customers.
Trade shows have changed rapidly in recent years and are set to continue evolving further in 2019 and beyond. We will see an evolution in trade show marketing by using new technologies that will deliver unique experiences, as well as a better recognition of the human experience and how this can be used to effectively market brands and products.
Here are some useful tips on how to get the most out of your show participation.
How to start a trade show in a good way
First of all, it’s important to choose the right event for your company, so that you will not invest your money in something that will not bring any benefit. Take your time to make some research and decide which is the event that can generate the best leads for you. Once you have done this first step, you need to set your main objectives and think about a strategy to reach them. It is also important to train and motivate your staff, so they will know exactly how to deal with customers and prospects and serve them properly.
How to organize your booth
Your booth design, its location and how you will organize it, are important aspects to think and take much care about. For example, what type of promotional material do you need? Brochures, business cards, posters, roll-ups, giveaways? It’s important to have something very effective to present and hand out to visitors and customers who are bombarded with information from everyone else at the show. Make your booth and brand stand out from the crowd. The materials sometimes need to be translated. Why? You are more likely to get potential new contacts or customers if you can engage people in their own language.
Besides, the position of your booth is another key thing to consider. Take a careful look at the show floor plan to locate the main aisles, the places where significant side events will be held during the show, and any other relevant details that can make your choice easier. Then, liaise with show management to find out which spaces are still available. Your objective is to get the best possible and visible placement, where a lot of people can see you.
Before, during and after the show
One fundamental step for your participation is to find a way to attract people to your booth. You can send emails to your old customers to inform them that you will be at the show and arrange meetings in advance. Additionally, we all know how social media tools are essential today, which is why you must use them to interact with customers, create buzz, increase brand awareness, increase traffic and provide information.
You know the objectives you have set for your participation and have to do your best to achieve them. How can you do this? You have to attract customers in a way that others haven’t thought about. For example, most companies will have panel presentations, which is good, but you should also have someone speaking about their experience with the product/service you want to sell. People like to see and listen to ”live experiences”, before trying one of their own.
There are also mistakes that shouldn’t be made during the event: talking on the phone, eat, playing games on it, leaving the booth unattended. You should also avoid badmouthing your competitors, which is considered unprofessional. Don’t undertrain or misinform your staff. They have to be motivated and clear on the objectives of your participation, so customers and prospects will be satisfied with the service they provide. These are just some of the mistakes to be avoided, in order not to jeopardize your hard work and participation outcome.
Once the trade show is over, don’t harass your potential customers and don’t put any type of pressure on them. Wait two or three days before sending them an email. Create a good follow up strategy to continue the conversation you had at the show.
Expo Consulting has been working in the exhibition business for over 20 years. We can support you in organizing your event participation and also help you to create engagement with clients in the best possible way. If you wish to learn more about trade show marketing, we would be happy to hear from you. You can visit our website and contact us by email or phone.