Get Ready for Trade Show Season
Sun. Sun. Summertime. When the sun’s rays are the strongest and the days the longest, it may be vacation time for many, but for us marketers, it's ramp-up time! Once the official start of summer hits, we are gearing up for one of the busiest times of the year: trade show season.
Much has changed since the pandemic: some shows have shuttered, while new ones are launching. Regardless of where your business is located. it’s likely that there’s an event to connect with customers, prospects, partners, and, of course, the media. Here are five tips to take your events to the next level.
1) Expo engagement
The summer months are a good time to let your target audience know of your upcoming fall expo activities. Doing so will make it easier to schedule meetings at the event. Plan to start scheduling about two weeks in advance. (Be sure to leave time for walk-up meetings on the show floor!)
On the show floor, anticipate a busy expo stand and consider incorporating interactive elements such as touch screens, LED displays, or a regularly scheduled demonstration to keep attendees occupied. At the booth, use valuable content accrued through the year to showcase customer examples and success stories. Use video (on a loop) to display product demonstrations to draw people in, and use a QR code for them to access and share the information.
2) Connect with the media
Months in advance of the expos, issue a press release to the trade media with your company’s upcoming event details, then pull the content from it to share on your website. Link the post or page to your social media accounts. (Be sure not to get the sequence reversed, which results in missed SEO opportunities.)
Once visitors are at your website, keep it engaging to encourage them to take action. Build a special expo landing page and offer a white paper, e-book. or instructional video that brings extra value. Keep in mind that not everyone will be able to attend the expos — so have options prepared in advance like webinars, a virtual one-to-one, etc.
3) Create a draw
As part of your marketing initiative for the expos, incorporate a clever draw for your booth. No need for the disposable giveaways anymore. Create a clever hashtag, and for every post on social media using the hashtag, donate $5 or $10 to a charity. If you get a few dozen photos posted, you’re putting your brand in front of potentially tens of thousands of people on social media. After the event, issue a press release to announce how much money was raised.
4) Food and power sources attract… attendees!
Food is always a great way to draw attention at an expo. Keep healthy snacks within arm’s reach. Be generous! Remember, it’s tiring to walk a show floor! It’s also worthwhile to offer a charging station, and let your target audience know in advance about it and send reminders the days of the expos. USB charging ports at your booth will give people an easy place to power up and reconnect with your team.
5) Plan for post-expo
After the event, be sure to spend time with your team to evaluate your successes and where there is room for improvement. This will help improve your expo experience for the next event. It goes without saying to analyze sales leads and incorporate them into your database so they get future news and updates. Of course, the marketing communications will be in addition to the sales team's one-to-one outreach to newfound relationships.
Remember, trade shows are meant to increase awareness about your product, service, or brand. Start strategizing months in advance, and use all the opportunities available.
When you’re ready to put some of these tips into action, give us a call. We’ll help you take your trade show experience to the next level! Contact us at email@example.com.