10 Tips for a Successful Trade Show Experience
You are responsible for the management of the budget, planning, and execution of every trade show that your company exhibits. Our top 10 “ways to make your trade show experience a success” list is available to you.
1 Set realistic goals so you can measure success & ROI
No matter how many trades shows you attend each month or one per year, your marketing strategy for trade shows should begin with objectives. (ROO = Return on Objectives our company president Doug Hughes will be happy to talk with you about this idea! You should set realistic objectives that you can measure at the end of each event. Do you want to increase awareness for your brand? Do you want to increase direct sales leads? Are you looking to generate direct sales leads? No matter what your objectives are, make sure you have a system in place to measure and quantify the results of your trade show event.
2 Learn about your target audience and understand them
Let’s take a look back at marketing 101. You need to identify your target audience, the shows they will attend, and most importantly, what motivates them. The people you want to engage with will determine everything, from the products you display to how staff your booth at trade shows. You should also consider who your product is selling to and the shows you attend.
3 Choose the best events & spaces for your company
After you have established your marketing goals, it is important to decide which trade shows or expos you should exhibit at. You should consider the location, the number of attendees, and the cost of entry.
After you have chosen the shows that you would like to exhibit at make sure you register as soon as possible to get the best space. As most show space is sold on a first-come-first-serve basis, the earlier you can book the better chance you have of getting the prime locations – at any size!
4 Hiring a trade show exhibit company that excels
You need to consider your goals, your audience, and the location you will be exhibiting at before you engage a tradeshow exhibit company that can deliver an exhibit that meets your needs.
Do you require a dramatic 100×100 foot exhibit or a smaller, more affordable show?
You should hire a trade show company that can help you find a solution to your needs. It should also be able to match your budget and give you the best chance to maximize your ROI!
5 Create Graphics and collateral that focus on the impact
After you have hired a tradeshow exhibit company, they should work with you to develop a graphics package and branding package that excites and motivates your target audience.
Your ultimate goal is to generate leads or awareness. Therefore, your booth graphics should be eye-catching and draw people in. Any marketing collateral, giveaways, and the like must be consistent with the overall brand and theme. Your brand’s cohesive marketing package can say so much about you!
6 Promote Your Exhibit Before, During, and After the Event
Promote. Promote. Promote! Every event you will be exhibiting at should belong to you!
You should advertise your show presence in all aspects of the event, including sending out email blasts before the event and calling one-on-one for appointment setting.
Neglect social media at your peril. Engage your prospects via Twitter and Google+ at all stages of the event. To ensure that others who are interested in the event can see your content, make sure you use the hashtag # in all posts.
7 Install a lead capture system in place
Capture your leads. Nurturing your leads is the ultimate goal of everything you do before and during your tradeshow event. This is the heart of your trade show marketing efforts. You can use various mobile apps and “lead scanners”, to capture leads from your booth visitors. These scanners and mobile apps, whether offered by event organizers or third parties, can be extremely useful in capturing contact information during events. Tip: Consider renting multiple scanners if you anticipate a lot of people visiting your booth. You don’t want your guests to be inconvenienced by a long line just so you can get their information.
Don’t forget to transfer all captured leads immediately to your CRM software (customer relationship management).
8 Give prompt follow-up to any leads you promise
After the show is over you can add all leads to your CRM as mentioned earlier. Your internal lead nurturing processes should begin from this point.If you are sending printed collateral, be sure to give the information promptly to anyone who has requested it.These leads have been captured by you. Now, make them count!
9 You can quantify your results by measuring and quantifying them
Now that the big date has passed, what do you do? It’s time for you to take a look back at your event and reevaluate the goals that were set so early. Did you get the leads you wanted? Your staff booked the orders you had set for them? What about the number of people who visit your booth?
It is easy to collect and analyze stats and analytics for your event. You can also quantify your ROO for each event, which is vital information that you can use for future shows.
10 A Debriefing Session is a great way to identify what worked and what didn’t.
Finally, the light at the other end of the tunnel is visible. Your trade show exhibit has been removed from the stage and leads distributed and stored. Make sure you have a thorough debriefing after each show.
Discuss what went well, what didn’t, and any details that were difficult but could have helped or hindered your performance.
Looking at the whole show, you’ll be better equipped for future shows.