Trade shows are rebounding as industry networking events that help promote brands and products. They can be valuable experiences for meeting new clients, as well as developing market positioning and learning about other dealers within your industry. While the key to effective trade show marketing is presenting an attractive booth represented by friendly communicators, budget concerns and planning should also be taken into account. To help you get the most out of your trade show marketing, we’ve compiled 7 key things to remember while planning:
- Plan Far in Advance
Research upcoming trade shows you would like to attend in the next year. Since booth space is usually limited, try to secure the best possible booth location as early as possible. Locations near the front of the hall, corners, food vendors, and restrooms will help give your booth high visibility. In the event you cannot afford a booth, you can still attend trade shows to network and market your business.
- Distribute a Press Release
One of the best ways to get attention from media, potential clients and other trade show attendees is to send press releases about your booth in advance. Postcards also make excellent vehicles for press releases because they can be read quickly and stored easily. PRWeb is a great resource for creating, distributing, and tracking press releases.
- Create Marketing Materials
Prepare and order handouts that attendees can take home well in advance. Keep your trade show marketing messages simple and be sure to include contact information. Business cards and flyers are low cost, yet effective marketing tools. Try to make your business cards stand out in some way, so that they don’t get lost in a pile. Get inspired by this article featuring creative, intelligent business cards.
- Invest in Portable Exhibits
Keep exhibits as small and as portable as possible without sacrificing appearance. Some of the most affordable yet presentable booths are lightweight and can fold into shippable tabletop units.
- Design Attractive Signage
Create an eye-catching banner of your logo to display at the top of the booth. Use another sign that summarizes your mission or positioning statement in six words or less. Messages will be most memorable if they are quick and easy to read. Skyline Exhibits is one resource that can help with both signage and exhibits, and also offer frequent webinars for trade show education.
- Practice Presentation
The most important aspect of any trade show presentation is more about the presenter than the booth. Aim to send outgoing representatives with adequate product knowledge that can capture and engage your prospects. If part of your goal is to book sales, keep in mind that you will probably want to send someone with sufficient sales experience.
- Follow Up
Collect as many business cards and details as possible at the event so that you can follow up with potential clients and resources. An app like Card Munch can help organize these cards without the mess. Taking notes on relevant trade show contacts can help accelerate the process of developing relationships and meeting individual needs in the future. Keep in mind that email may be a way to save time, but calling individuals on the phone will likely have a more dramatic impact on sales or building relationships.
Good luck and we hope that you’ll find these tips useful at your next trade show. Remember to review the trade show and see if it was worth your investment before considering reserving a spot for the next year. If you’re interested in reading more about trade show strategies and the best ways to follow up, take a glance at these articles:
If you have any strategies that you’ve found to be successful, please share them below!