We've been assisting clients with
their trade show promotions for years. We can help you develop a
strategy to direct qualified attendees to your booth.
If you're still judging the success of your trade show
by booth traffic alone, it's time to think again. You
may be wasting time on unqualified or under-qualified
individuals. Your most important objective should be
reaching as many potential and current customers as
possible in the time available. Arbitrarily increasing
booth traffic can cause havoc at the booth and create an
ineffective selling situation.
Effective ways to target the right trade show audience:
- Determine which companies
and individuals you most want
to visit your booth.
- Select current customers,
reps, dealers, and/or
- Prepare a pre-show mailing
piece with a theme that
reflects your objectives and
supports the design and theme
of the booth.
- Follow-up with a second
mailing or perhaps a fax or
personal phone call.
Increase your response rate with pre-show planning. As
part of your pre-show planning, look beyond the
traditional. Often, exhibiting at a show that is part of
an auxiliary industry has more impact than exhibiting at
a trade show that is part of your primary industry.
Doing this provides prospects that would not ordinarily
have direct access to your products and services.
To evaluate the potential of a trade show, determine the:
- Overall budget (travel,
booth costs, advertising,
- Objectives (sales, product
launch, visibility, etc.)
- Booth display (new, used,
- Advertising and promotion
(promotional products, direct
mail, e-mail campaign, trade
- Staff training required
(internal, outside consultant)
- Target audience (attendee
list, current customers,
- Lead-generation method
(develop custom form, swipe
machines, business cards)
- Follow-up method (sending
literature, phone follow-up,
direct mail, e-mail
Well before the show, develop a
marketing strategy that will carry
through all of your advertising and
promotional efforts. Selecting and
promoting a theme provides added
excitement and helps heighten brand
awareness. Try these tips for planning a
Use a planning guide. Establish a
section for each part of the
event, e.g. budget, travel,
booth design, etc. Keep all
contracts in the appropriate
section. Include a calendar and
a show floor plan with your
space clearly marked. This guide
will be an invaluable tool, not
only for this event, but for all
future shows as well.
Try a "bulky" pre-show mailing.
Pre-show mailings are an excellent way
to reach your target audience, and a
"bulky" mailing is most
effective in ensuring that your mailing
gets opened. Include a promotional
product that ties in with your theme and
suggests what your booth has to offer. A
study by Exhibit Surveys, Inc.,
determined that a pre-show direct mail
piece containing a promotional gift can
produce close to three times greater
traffic than one without a gift.
Make staff available and identifiable. Staff
your booth adequately and provide
comprehensive training. Make your booth
staff easy to identify with comfortable
clothing sporting your corporate logo.
Create a lead follow-up plan. Create a plan
before the show to follow up on leads
immediately after the show.
Trade shows are one of the strongest
tools available to build and cement
solid relationships. They provide an
excellent opportunity to make current
customers feel important and to resolve
any customer concerns or issues. For a
- Within 10 seconds, catch the attention of a prospect passing by your booth.
- Stand ready to great attendees and have your name tag clearly visible.
- Qualify prospects and sell your product within six minutes.
- Be enthusiastic! Use attention-getting devices and personalized promotional items.
This is no time to relax. Effective and timely follow-up is critical to the success of your trade show. After the event:
- Wait a few days to follow-up so attendees can catch their breath.
- Examine literature requests and follow-up on customer concerns.
- Make follow-up calls to prospects.
- Incorporate your promotional campaign theme into post-show mailings.
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