Developing a Successful Trade Show Experience

One of the best ways a company can market their business to hundreds of potential new customers is to exhibit at a trade show. Every year, numerous trade shows are held in all parts of the country providing the opportunity for businesses to meet face-to-face with prospects interested in their products. In addition, trade shows also provide a great opportunity to build relationships with existing customers who are in attendance as well. On the other hand, while trade shows are great for providing quality face-time with prospects and clients, they are also an expensive marketing endeavor, making it imperative that your efforts are properly promoted and executed.

Establishing objectives is critical for developing strategies that will help to ensure success and provide a positive return on your investment. Clearly you will be hoping to drive traffic to your booth, but what are your primary and secondary objectives once your audience arrives?

Possibilities can include:

  • Generating new sales through the show booth
  • Increasing the database for your sales funnel with new names and email addresses
  • Confirming appointments for follow-up meetings and sales conversions
  • Expanding and introducing your brand to a new audience
  • Building relationships with existing clients

Three important statistics that many companies are not familiar with are (1) 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority, (2) 70% plan a list of company booths they plan to visit before ever stepping foot on the trade show floor, and (3) only 10% – 15% of trade show exhibitors invest in pre-show marketing efforts. These studies clearly demonstrate that pre-show promotions will set you apart from your competition by enticing attendees with various incentives such as special presentations or events at your booth, show discounts, drawings for a valuable item, or free gifts. By integrating your direct mail, online “show specific” micro-sites, and compelling calls to action you will successfully drive new traffic to your booth. A show specific micro-site will also provide you with valuable marketing information about the attendees, giving you talking points to use that will engage the prospect or customer with their specific interests. Building this pre-show interest is critical to a successful trade show experience, increasing your conversion of visitors to customers by a whopping 50%. Since pre-show marketing is a weakness many of your competitors suffer from, engaging in pre-show marketing will certainly provide the opportunity for you to rise above the rest.

Integrating the visual aspect of your booth with your pre-marketing materials also provides a feeling of continuity to those seeking you out as a result of receiving your pre-show material. Your show booth should be eye-catching, able to be seen from about 20 feet away and convey to attendees what your company is all about. We can help you design a trade show booth that is open and inviting so your visitors can walk into your space instead of being stuck out in the trade show aisle. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that you have plenty of sales material to distribute to the attendees who have shown an interest in your company.

Between your pre-show marketing efforts and those you employ at the show, there are many ways to get contact information from show attendees. Without capturing this vital information you will have difficulty developing an effective follow-up strategy. There are several ways we can assist with helping you gather this lead information, all of which will help you build the new relationships that are the lifeblood of a successful business.

To learn more about our Trade Show Marketing Solutions, contact us at 603-456-3101 or email at Marketing@RCBrayshaw.com.

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