You may be gearing up to attend a trade show to raise awareness of your brand, promote a new product or service and/or to provide your team with professional development opportunities. Whatever your goal(s) may be, trade show marketing is like any other marketing strategy: it's an investment that requires planning and preparation if you expect a positive ROI.
Here are 10 tips to help you get started:
- Tweet about your experience using the trade show’s hashtag. Post photos of show activities on your company’s Facebook and LinkedIn; you can also use these for marketing purposes later. Blog about key takeaways, especially if you are a speaker at the show.
- Choose the right trade show and send the right people. Decide the purpose for attending and then match that purpose with the staff who will maximize the takeaway value.
- Pay attention to the informal meetings. People who you meet in the hallway, other vendors, and participants at dinner or at the cocktail hour can be the most important folks you’ll meet.
- Use a bowl to collect business cards as part of a raffle. It’s a great way to collect names, phone numbers and email addresses.
- Keep detailed lists of who you met and what you discussed. This will help you when you follow up.
- . Schedule dinners and/or plan a cocktail reception and invite a handful of potential clients. Make a brief presentation, but create a relaxed environment.
- Give away technology prizes during your raffle. Such prizes are always popular with attendees, and the raffle can increase your engagement.
- Ask about being a speaker/presenter at the event as part of your sponsor package. It’s a great way to brand yourself as an expert in your field and it will provide social media opportunities for you before, during and after the event as well.
- Mail and email every name on the attendee list. By sending relevant messaging before and after the show, you can reach top of mind awareness among prospective clients.
- Follow up with every lead in a timely manner and with relevant information. A prompt, professional and personalized response can make make your company stand out from the competition who may take days or weeks to respond.