Every trade show varies in location, logistics, forms, portals and services, so working with an established contractor, who knows their way around, will save you time and money. After almost 30 years in the Trade Show industry (on a global level), there are a number of tips we have pulled together, that help our clients have the best experience.
Mindfulness : view your attendance at the trade show as a niche opportunity to connect with your ideal audience. Dispel the myth that exhibitions are a money drain – this is only the case if you are not doing them efficiently, and maximising on marketing opportunities. Set your mindset, and that of your colleagues, to the positive, and start preparing your team months in advance – not the day before. This is an opportunity to market to your audiences, and far from interrupting your sales and marketing activity a Trade show can fully enhance it.
Communication : There is no doubt that a Trade show is an investment, not just a financial investment but also an investment in time. Thus, it is critical to ensure that your current customers, their connections and your prospects are all aware that you will be at the show with your new products/service. Again that comes back to communication, everyone within the company is responsible for informing clients and prospects of your attendance at the show, to maximise exposure, and assist with the ROI.
Social Media : Reach out! Your social platforms should be abuzz with activity. Publicise your stand number, transport information, when to register, what other products are at the show (yes really!). By helping other exhibitors share their content, they should advocate your brand as a courtesy. If you have a competition running, or any teaser campaigns, make sure that you post regularly.
We credit DowSocial for this image of how often to post on Social media without appearing to SPAM. It’s a good rule of thumb, although we believe Instagram is now overtaking Twitter in terms of posts.
Measurement : What are your goals and how do you plan to measure the success of the show. Agree with your management team, the number of leads that mean ‘success’ to you. Would it be based on leads, or perhaps success would be in footfall. It would be advisable to document “what” you are measuring, but also some strategies to hit that objective.
- Will success be purely on stand activity/footfall?
- Will success include social amplification or reach?
- Will success be based on leads/orders
After the event, you should factor in any exponential brand awareness that has impacted your social platforms.
In terms of footfall, personal invitations to your clients with an invitation to visit you on the stand, are still considered the most effective route to success. We certainly can echo that those of our clients that invest in meeting space, seem to record better results and ROI. It gives the opportunity to fully engage, and demonstrate in a relatively relaxed environment.
As many as 75% of attendees make their schedules in advance of their arrival at the show, so don’t take a chance that they’ll turn up, involve your sales and marketing teams far in advance of the show, to let people know you’ll be there.