Well-planned and executed trade show promotions are essential to fully benefit from event participation and achieve your exhibiting goals. For exhibit marketing to be effective, you must have specific objectives to measure success and have determined the role trade shows will play, as part of your overall sales and marketing plan.
Moreover, finding opportunistic shows that reach your target audience, along with having well designed, memorable trade show exhibits, messages and promotional products are essential to set the stage for successful outcomes.
Effective trade show marketing includes a multi-phased strategy. This approach encompasses a variety of marketing channels to attract visitors to your trade show display – and engage both prospects and customers.
There are three phases of trade show promotion:
Phase 1: Personalized contact and awareness marketing prior to the event.
Presell conference registrants through personalized phone calls, written invitations, direct mail initiatives, social media and/or email communications. You may also want to mail out meaningful giveaways along with a personalized letter to introduce your products, share your booth location, and encourage potential buyers to visit your exhibit.
To create general awareness, leverage digital media by placing exhibiting information on your website, as well as utilizing internet, social media and texting strategies to get the message out. Selective direct mail to targeted prospect lists may also be opportunistic. Be sure to "talk up" your participation at a trade show at business events and among networking groups. See the article links at the bottom of this page for information on specific marketing tactics.
Phase 2: Promotional activities during the show.
This includes a range of options including live entertainment, hands-on activities, audio-visual programs, unique booth attractions, interactive games, tradeshow giveaways, and food. Using attention grabbers such as feather flags, music, and special lighting give your booth more pizzazz to draw visitors.
Tweeting, texting, video marketing and social media postings throughout the show engage attendees and keep them apprised of what's happening at your booth. Of course, a well-trained, professional, and welcoming trade show team is paramount to success.
Phase 3: Follow-up after the show to convert leads into sales.
Send a personalized handwritten note, along with a customized company information packet or other appropriate material, to booth visitors within a week following the trade show event. For top leads, add a personal phone call to make a lasting impression and reinforce your commitment to service.
In this time of intense texting, email, and messaging through social networking sites, a personal phone call to your valued prospects makes a powerful impact and may help solidify the sale. Warm, personal contact is the consistent thread in every aspect of marketing and trade show promotions.
Strong, thoughtful relationship-building strategies before, during and after the show can effectively separate you from your competitors - and make the difference between generating a lead and making a sale. Each contact you make reinforces your company's commitment to quality and customer care, which are essential attributes in the competitive marketplace.
In addition, trade show marketing strategies that focus on relationship management and personalized attention are just as important when you are participating in virtual trade shows as they are for traditional, face-to-face events.
Click here for tips on attracting leads at live events >>
For more information, marketing tips and ideas, see the articles listed at the bottom of this page.
ATTRACTING TRADE SHOW VISITORS
More Trade Show Marketing Strategies
Trade Show Booth Ideas
Things that Compromise Trade Show Results
Using Psychology to Attract Booth Visitors
Using Booth Entertainment to Draw Crowds
Promotional Flags that Attract Attention
Putting Games for Trade Shows
Create Buzz with Product Demonstrations
Using Interactive Presentations to Attract Visitors
Convergence of Marketing and Trade Show Entertainment
TRADE SHOW PUBLICITY AND SPEAKER SPONSORSHIPS
Securing Publicity at the Show
Marketing with Media Packages
Sponsoring a Trade Show Speaker
Advantages of Using News-Style Tradeshow Video
How to Leverage Event Speaker Sponsorship
Benefits of Serving as a Volunteer Speaker
DIGITAL and SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES
Planning for Social Media Success at Trade Shows
How to Leverage Instagram for Exhibit Marketing
Using Twitter to Increase Booth Traffic
Tradeshow Marketing with Pinterest
Using Online Video to Promote Your Booth
Leveraging LinkedIn as an Exhibit Marketing Tool
Capturing Leads with Touch Screen Technology
Web Site Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors
Digital Marketing Integration
Virtual Trade Shows
TRADE SHOW SALES AND FOLLOW-UP
Imperatives for Trade Show Follow-up
Using Professional Telemarketing Services
The Value of Post-Show Follow-up
How to Measure Your Success
Advice on Generating Leads and Sales
Trade Show Booth Strategies
Beat the Competition and Achieve Tradeshow Results