Trade shows provide opportunities for anyone and everyone. For example, with so many industry authorities, customers and prospects in one place, there’s no better time to create amazing video assets and testimonials? This means getting customers, prospects, and maybe even speakers at the conference to review products on camera right at your exhibit. These videos can then be posted on YouTube, corporate website, and all social media platforms. Let’s look at what else any old dummy, or your very smart self, could do at a trade show:
Money, the Bottom Line
Tradeshows can be expensive. There’s little point in earning a few sales if you’ve just blown through an entire marketing budget on just one show. To save money, start by considering whether you should rent a display or invest in one. It comes down to this: rent the exhibit if you’re doing two or less shows a year, with studies showing you’ll break even at your third show. Your solution might just be to take advantage of a modular exhibit allows you to get a custom look for a rental price point. Rentals are also a great option for someone that’s been in the game for years and is looking to spruce up their image at a low cost.
Tap Into Your Inner Child
Games, the new marketing motivators, are the best way to attract a natural audience and increase buzz. The same strategy also works in tradeshows. Some ideas include:
- A Matching Contest. Offer attendees branded stickers to wear on the front of their clothing that coincides with a contest. These stickers would be printed with a number, symbol, or the like, of which two of every variation of stickers would match. The contest would require attendees to find their match at the show in order and come back together to your exhibit to win a prize. The payoff includes brand visibility and fun networking opportunities for your attendees.
The Pro-Active Sales Agent
Don’t just rely on leads to come to your booth. Get one or two sales agents proactive by mingling in the crowd. And all agents should carry a tablet around to grab leads throughout the trade show. It’s also a great opportunity to carry portfolio and presentations discreetly to have available at the tip of your finger.
Trade Show Leads
You can capture your trade show leads through either paper or electronic means. There are pros and cons to each of these approaches. Paper forms are a little more personal and are a great back up in the event of a tech or internet malfunction. Plus, you can easily write notes on a paper form or attach a business card. With paper lead forms, you can use checkboxes so people can quickly fill them out. With a paper trade show lead form, don’t waste your space on pointless questions like “Are you interested in our products? If they weren’t interested in the products, they wouldn’t fill out the form. Instead ask questions that will help you decide what approach to use with them in the future and what their current and future needs may be. With your paper lead forms it is possible to ask prospects about their budget, purchasing timeframe and preferred contact method.
Tradeshows are about more than just getting new business. They’re an invaluable resource for gaining knowledge about on your industry and competitors. Tradeshows are integral to your company’s learning process, and a great training ground for sales and marketing to come together.
Trade shows are definitely more than just about lead prospecting. They’re about maintaining your industry profile, learning about new developments, keeping your competitors from taking all the leads for themselves and keeping tabs on what your competitors are up to as well.
For additional tips, check out a great article on Forbes called “12 Commandments of Incredibly Successful Tradeshows.”