Trade shows are usually packed with potential buyers and PR opportunities, and are one of the best ways for businesses to promote their brands, products, or services. In fact, experts argue that trade shows are one of the most profitable B2B (business-to-business) media strategies.
As such, trade shows are an invaluable marketing strategy that every business should capitalize on. But booth space comes at a premium. Here are a few ideas to stand out at the next trade show and maximize the ROI of your time and money:
- Start Before the Event Date
Find creative ways to promote your brand in the weeks leading up to the trade show. You can prepare handouts such as t-shirts, key holders, pens, etc., to dish out during the event; exercise the event’s hashtag; and compile image-rich social media updates to popularize your brand or business before other participants start to do the same.
- Create an Experiential Brand Experience
Allow attendees to interact with your brand by providing demos and putting some of your products in their hands. The experience will be more memorable than a sales pitch, and is more likely to lead to a purchase.
- Get Good Signage to Draw Quality Leads
Good signage does not necessarily mean expensive or flashy. It just needs to be appropriately descriptive, so people don’t arrive at your booth and begin to wonder what you offer. Get a well designed booth display with signage that grabs people’s attention and represents your business. It should explain what your business sells and the product or service’s key benefits, so you only attract the audience that is interested in what you have to offer.
- Giveaways and Promotions
Many people attending trade shows hope to leave the event with a bunch of free stuff. Giving out goodies like donuts, cookies, and sweets will compel attendees to reciprocate, by at least listening to your pitch. In addition, offer incentives such as in-booth gifts, limited-time special show pricing, or giveaways with your logo for their loved ones (kids and pets). When they take photos and post them on social media, you will probably get mentioned, giving you additional exposure.
- Have Fun
Trade shows give you a unique opportunity to network and interact face-to-face with industry leaders, existing customers, and prospective customers. Try to be proactive with the people you meet, and convey a fun and energetic vibe that will draw other people to your booth. Find a fun way to educate attendees about how your product or service will improve their lives.
Lastly, take as many pictures as you can and post them on your social media profiles. Add comments and trending hashtags, and encourage sharing to start a conversation online about your brand and its products or services that you can follow up on after the event.