Summer is the hottest time of year. When it comes to temperatures, yes, but it’s also the most popular time of year for trade shows — those large business exhibitions where professionals gather and exchange ideas, industry secrets, and opportunities to network. When a company makes the investment into attending a trade show, it’s for the purpose of expanding their network and growing their business.
Most venues for trade shows are reserved well ahead of time which provides attendees and exhibitors the necessary time to design marketing materials, plan for travel, and assemble their team. Since it’s spring, now is the perfect time to get all those ducks in a row for the expos that you’ll be attending. Think of it as showering those seeds that will bloom in the following season.
Planning is essential to getting the most out of your trade show investment. As they are typically business-to-business events, it’s not necessarily about making sales on the day but building the relationships that will lead to lasting partnerships. Make sure that your team is fully equipped with all the appropriate marketing materials and details that make your trade show experience worth the investment.
What are you bringing to the trade show? Set a budget and use those funds on the marketing materials that represent the direction of your business, the services you offer, and the products you provide. Your booth should be eye catching and your materials should be informative and purposeful rather than just entertaining. Your unique branding should be evident and immersed in everything you bring.
Making a First Impression
Trade shows are busy events with participants walking all throughout the venue, being pulled in different directions by impressive displays. You need to make sure that your first impression is one that draws people toward your booth. Use banners, a branded table cover, and other visual materials to stand out among the crowd. Provide t-shirts or other branded clothing for your team members to wear while they work the booth. Don’t forget the brochures, pens, keychains, and other items that potential business connections can take with them.
Creating an Interactive Experience
Video displays are a great way to demo products and create an interactive component. Consider using technology to host contests or even allow your visitors to play custom games related to your brand. Using tablets provides a platform on which you can host surveys or even quizzes that lead to fun giveaways and prizes. A great idea is to send these materials to the venue (or your hotel) via courier service rather than trying to travel with them.
Staying on Top of Mind
Let your customers, your business partners, and your community know that you’re going on the road. Keep in touch with your community and expand your reach through social media. Build a campaign around your attendance of the trade show. Use the official hashtag of the trade show and create your own so that your team as well as visitors to your booth can share their experiences and tag them — grabbing the attention of your loyal followers and attracting new ones.
Furthermore, one of the most important factors to remember for the trade show is to create a system for following up and staying in contact with those leads you’ve acquired. It will help you stay on their minds and increase the likelihood of becoming a preferred provider. Your marketing efforts after the trade show must involve a strategy for converting them into customers and clients.