It doesn’t matter whether you are operating a big firm or a small and medium enterprise (SME); the goal of a trade show is to come out with strong leads and long-term clients. A lot of time and effort goes into creating a successful trade show so it’s always advisable to follow the key trade show marketing best practices.
Pre-Trade Show Marketing
The first thing you and your team must do is have a clear purpose as to why you plan to set up a display at a trade show. What is your plan? What is your goal? What do you need to achieve this goal? Once all this is clear, then you can proceed.
- Send Emails and Set Up Appointments Well in Advance
Once you have made up your mind on participating in a trade show, you should find out all the relevant trade shows happening, for you to plan effectively. ExpoMarketing not only offers custom trade show displays but also has a trade show calendar with a comprehensive directory of over 3,500 exhibitions.
If possible, get the attendee list for the trade shows and send emails to establish meetings in advance. This gives the potential customers a reason to stop by your booth and are also likely to spend more time in your booth but also to become clients.
You and your team should send reminders via social media. Be sure to use the trade show’s designated hashtag when posting photos and videos that will encourage the attendees to visit your booth.
During the Trade Show
- Use Key Messages
Attendees tend to be inundated with messages at a trade show, so you want to keep yours as concise as possible. Your booth should not only represent your brand but should also be appealing to attendees. You could opt for a customized rental display that has proper graphics and lighting. ExpoMarketing offers award-winning designs that are both creative and sustainable at the same time.
- Put the Right People in Your Booth
This is another best practice that significantly impacts your collected leads. Your marketing team should be present at the booth. These are people who are skilled at cultivating prospects. You need people that know your product or service in and out and can answer all questions posed by attendees.
Your sales team should also be present to qualify prospects but also to work with attendees that are ready to buy. This is not to discourage small firms that do not have a whole marketing department.
If you are working in a small firm, it’s crucial to have the team lead or founder present at the front lines. Attendees tend to judge a company based on the quality of the presentation, so this is an excellent alternative for small organizations.
- Limit Giveaways
You need to qualify attendees that visit your booth and only offer giveaways to qualified leads. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a person that does not add value to your business. A good tip is to look out for people that offer their full contact details
After the Trade Show
- Follow Up Immediately
Creating a long-term relationship with prospects is perhaps the most critical trade show marketing best practice. You should aim at sending same-day follow up communication or, if not possible, do it within the first five days after the trade show.
- Results Tracking
Last but not least is analyzing your results. You and your team should evaluate your objectives and goal. See what worked well and note what area needs to be improved.