Trade shows, conferences and exhibits are an ideal way to create a large amount of qualified leads in a very short period of time. In fact, in a number of business-to-business markets, attending a successful trade show is often the best way to reduce the costs of customer acquisition. However, how you prepare for that show ultimately defines success or failure. So, what are some of the more successful trade show marketing strategies?
Plan Customer Meetings Well In Advance
Itís critical that you maximize your customer face time. Plan your customer meetings well in advance so that you have ample opportunity to visit and meet with new prospects. Booth time should be devoted to new potential customers and generating new leads. The remainder should be set aside to meet with existing customers. This could include meeting existing customers before and after the show or at lunch.
Understand the Layout of the Show
Itís critical that you understand where your booth will be in relation to your competitorsí booths. Granted, there will always be those last-minute adjustments where organizers suddenly put you right across from your main competitor. However, for the most part, you should make sure your booth is never adjacent or across from a competitor. Most importantly, your booth should always be positioned in a high-traffic area.
Donít be Too Rigid
Individuals that attend trade shows are accustomed to the standing, the waiting and the length of time involved in manning a booth. As such, donít be so rigid with your sales and business development people that you never allow them to take a breather. Yes itís important that they remain professional. However, itís equally important that they remain fresh and ready to serve. This means allowing them time alone and giving them a chance to rest their feet.
Spice Things Up
Donít be afraid to think outside the box when trying to decipher how to have a successful trade show booth. This doesnít mean having a bunch of promo girls where theyíre not needed or serving beer and wine when itís not allowed. Granted, having hot promotional models such as the models from Cover Girl Promotional Models does attract an audience, but only if itís acceptable and within the norms of the trade show youíre attending. Ultimately, play within the rules, but donít be afraid to draw attention to your booth with a bright display and vivid imagery.
Pre-Show Marketing Strategies
Launching an email marketing campaign right before the show is an ideal way to make sure your customers know where your booth is and what to expect when they show up. However, itís not enough just to have an email campaign. Itís also a good idea to advertise within the guide for the trade show in order to reach those customers whose spam folders may not have received your email campaign.
Ultimately, success with trade shows all comes down to preparation. Itís about making sure your visits are scheduled ahead of time so that you can better manage booth personal, while also maximizing how you pursue new leads. Itís also about marketing your company in advance in order to make sure that all your customers know where your company will be and who will be available in your booth.