The vast majority of show attendees plan a list of whom they’re going to visit before ever entering the convention center doors. It’s your job to make sure to get on that list! According to a study from Bredin, trade shows and events are the second most-cited source of new product and new vendor information — after peers and colleagues — among small- to medium-sized business owners.
Pre-show marketing tactics to implement include:
- Contact your in-house file. This includes your regular customers, local contacts, vendors, solid prospects or just about anyone in the area of the Show that you do business with.
- Contact registered attendees. Often the Show’s organizers will provide exhibitors a list of attendees ahead of time. It is imperative to contact these folks through direct mail, e-mail, or even phone and try to persuade them to meet with you at your booth.
Tactics to get the word out:
- Snail mail. David Brull, the vice president of marketing and membership for the Trade Show Exhibitors Association, says “snail mail not only still works, but might be the best means of communicating an upcoming event. “A postcard is pretty much the most effective – and odd sized is even better so that it doesn’t just blend in and end up in the trash.”
- Offer an incentive. A special offer like a price promotion, show discount, special gift for stopping by (promotional item), etc… may help draw people to your booth.
- Press release. A great way to get the word out that you’ll be exhibiting is to disseminate a press release to targeted industry outlets as well as local/regional outlets.
At-show tactics to implement:
- Inviting booth environment. Your booth should offer enough space for someone to check out your offerings with products very visible from the main walkway. Your booth ambassadors should not only look presentable but be well-trained about all of your products and especially ordering/shipping information.
- Capture information from exhibitor visitors. Make sure you have a way to record the prospect’s interests and next steps, whether it’s a paper- or tablet-based tool for data capture.
Post-show follow-up: Even though this blog post is focusing on getting people to your booth, I can’t stress enough how important post-show follow up is! If you don’t have a process in place, you shouldn’t be exhibiting at all!
Any questions? Give a call! Send an email! I’m always happy to help!
Danielle Foley, President ~ www.FoleyMarketingAdvisors.com ~ firstname.lastname@example.org