- Pre-event opportunities
- Day-of event experience
- Post-event follow up
Focus on what your attendees should know, do and feel
Every marketing initiative should have a clean goal. When someone thinks about your brand, what do you want them to know? Some brands will focus on conveying their Unique Sales Proposition (USP) here, what makes you different. What do you want them to do? Sign up for an email newsletter? Schedule a one-on-one with you? And lastly, what do you want them to feel? This is most important, because people don’t buy stuff, they buy how you make them feel. Do you want them to feel safe? Trusting? Energized? Use this opportunity to emotionally connect with your audience.
Run a giveaway
Running a giveaway is a great way to stand out in a room of many other trade show exhibitors. Many will only pass out business cards or brochures, what can you pass out that will stand out? Promo product trends are already showing for 2020 that the name of the game is quality. Most companies are finding huge success focusing on fewer, better giveaways, creating a stronger sense of attachment to the brand. It’s about inspiring action, emotion or loyalty… not just another paper fan that goes to the toddlers.
- Try blue light glasses for tired eyes, logo socks or reusable metal straws that are all the rage.
Engage with attendees
Draw people in beyond swag. Again, people buy experiences. Will they remember that paper fan in their gift bag? Or will they remember how much they laughed trying to win at some kind of game? Try an experience like one of these:
- Device charging station
- Noise is a great attractant. Use a plink-o game, spinning wheel or other noise making game.
Have fun & make it a competition!
As an attendee, how often have you walked right past a booth because someone was too engaged with their phone and never made eye contact with you? Thumbing through their brochure or playing with the layout of their business cards? Don’t be THAT guy or gal! Keep track of how many people you DO engage with and see if you can outplay your teammates, or the booth next door! Make friends, create a contest based on engagement and enjoy the day!
You generated all this great energy. The trade show is over. So you’re done, right? Wrong! Now is the time that’s even more important than the shaking hands and kissing babies you did the day of. Follow up! 100% of the people you spoke to are possible customers or strategic partners. So plan out a solid follow up process. This could look like:
- Email drip campaigns
- Coffee meetings to get to know
- Social connections
Avoid follow up, and book NOW!
Why wait for the follow-up work when you can book right on the spot? Alice Heiman, co-founder of TradeShow Makeover, talked about this in a recent Forbes article about trade show success.
“The key to success with any event is preparation and yet, it’s where people spend the least time and effort,” Heiman said. We love this idea because everyone is walking around with their phones, and usually they’re on them. So use that to your advantage and ask right away to schedule that 15-minute intro call!
Trade shows are a huge opportunity to make a massive impact in a very small window of time compared to many other marketing initiatives. So plan for all three stages of your show and shoot us a message. We’re always excited to help brainstorm ways to help you make a bigger wave!