Marketing News: Get the most out of your next trade show
Get the most out of your next trade show
While technology such as virtual reality and video streaming is becoming more and more important to marketers, many still insist there is nothing better than face to face networking. For many small businesses, trade shows are a great opportunity to build their brand and meet with potential contacts from their industry.
But of course, there’s much more to do than simply turning up! Once you’ve worked out what you want to achieve, you must devise a plan to make it happen – from getting the word out in your industry before the event – to getting it right whilst you’re there!

Give yourself enough lead time
A compelling proposition can’t be put together at the last minute, particularly as you’re vying for attention with other companies in your sector. So spend plenty of time planning every aspect of your participation in the trade show, from what type of display you want on your stand to ensuring every member of your team stays on message when they’re interacting with visitors.

Give out freebies
Exhibitors use many different methods to draw in exhibitors; from eye-catching banners, to a demonstration machine whirring away on their stand or giving out free promotional merchandise such as pens, keyrings and notebooks. Giveaways can attract visitors to your stand and handy, useful branded items will be retained and used long after the event providing a lasting reminder of your firm.

Have a uniform look
Make your team instantly identifiable by kitting them out in branded polo shirts or t-shirts. If you’re all sporting your company colour scheme you’ll stand out from competitors and be easily recognisable to everyone in attendance.

Put yourself forward as a speaker
Making yourself available as a speaker is a great way to get your brand noticed and to get yourself seen as a thought leader. You might be able to get a slot if you can demonstrate how you can offer a fresh perspective on a current development or if you have a unique point of view to share. If you don’t manage to present a session, there will be other chances to get your voice heard. For instance, if a speaker is taking questions, put your hand up and ask something probing and insightful. It could turn enough heads to get you noticed and make people want to talk to you further. Do the same on social media before the event, asking questions to key influencers and getting into dialogue with them. It all helps to get your name out there.

Stay off your phone
If footfall drops for a moment it’s very tempting to check your phone or emails. But don’t! There’s always the chance a new contact is about to approach and if you look occupied, they may walk on by, so it’s vital that you make sure everyone stays away from their gadgets and remains focused and approachable. If you do need to use your phone, perhaps to answer a call or to tweet about the event, make sure a colleague is available ready to talk to visitors.

Promote your participation
Companies that are taking part in a trade show should make sure they let everyone know about it beforehand, for example via social media or in posts on sector-related forums. Businesses could also issue press releases to trade journals to get some extra coverage. If people know in advance you’ll be attending they may decide in advance to visit your stand.

Get feedback
Once the show is over seek feedback from those who worked on the stand as well as from visitors. They’ll all have opinions on what worked well and if anything could be improved upon – information that’ll be handy if you want to exhibit again in the future.


Sources / Further Reading
Revitalize Your B2B Tradeshow Marketing Strategy Nerd’s Magazine
Emerging Trade Show Trends to Watch Exhibitor
Trade Show Trends For 2017 Business2Community