Stand out in the crowd before, during and after
A routine business development effort is participation in tradeshows where many small businesses use this tactic to generate prospects. One positive side of the tradeshow equation is that it can be a terrific way to give your brand and business the exposure it needs. On the other side of the equation, tradeshows can be very expensive! With the understanding that you have picked the right tradeshow for your business, here are tips to help you make the most of your tradeshow dollar.
Marketing and Branding Before the Show
Creating brand awareness before customers walk onto the tradeshow floor is essential. Most tradeshows, for an extra fee, allow you to market to customers before the show. Plan these well in advance and you’ll be off to a good start before the show begins. Pre-show marketing can be done in several ways: sending customized emails and mailers to prospects, placing pop up or banner ads on the tradeshow website, and setting appointments at specific times at the tradeshow along with promoting your brand on social media using intriguing posts and including tradeshow appropriate hash-tags.
Marketing and Branding During the Show
It’s the moment you have been anticipating for months. You’ve done all the pre-show marketing and now it’s day one of the show. An announcement over the loudspeaker comes across of “the tradeshow is now open.” You eagerly anticipate customers flocking to your booth. There are numerous ways to draw them to your booth. Sponsorships are one method. The type of sponsorships available vary from show to show. Some will allow you to purchase floor decals, aisle banners, sponsor coffee breaks, lunches, evening events and educational sessions. Other options are audio visual presentations and announcements at the show. Taking advantage of these opportunities is necessary as is having an engaging and interactive booth. Interactive ideas can be games and giveaways. These ideas are well and good and a good start to attract prospects. The biggest emphasis; however, needs to be the personal connection at the booth. Represent yourself professionally, enthusiastically, and genuinely. It’s important to keep a smile on your face and interact with each customer or prospect.
Marketing and Branding After the Show
Post-show marketing is often the most forgotten element in tradeshow marketing and branding. It’s easy to lapse in this area because tradeshows can be exhausting, but it’s not excusable. Some tradeshows last two to four days and when it’s over you find yourself anxious to get back to the regular work routine. Proper post-marketing means you must follow up with each prospect that stopped by your booth. It’s highly recommended to send mailers after the show. For the prospects who wanted general information on your company, a post-card may be appropriate. The more specific the need of the customer or prospect, it demands a more specific follow up. Sending follow-up letters, emails, or placing phone calls are all sufficient. Last, be sure to record your visitor contact information in a centralized database and be sure to stay in touch with them on a regular basis so the prospect of today, becomes a customer tomorrow.
Still overwhelmed at the thought tradeshow marketing? Serff Creative Group, Inc. has more than 18 years of experience in tradeshow marketing. We’ve helped hundreds of our customers create a proper strategy and increase their revenues and customer base.