In order for your company to yield a meaningful return at your next trade show, it’s crucial to leverage every resource at your disposal. It’s easy to be so focused on the exhibition that you overlook the resources that are accessible prior to the show. Most of these pre-show assets feel insignificant when viewed independently of each other — but when they’re integrated and combined, they can maximize your return in many different ways.
Awareness is crucial to any exhibitor’s trade show success. If no one knows your booth exists, no one will be consciously seeking it out. Make your trade show presence known to all of your current customers and social media followers.
Putting out a press release should be a key part of your pre-show marketing strategy. Don’t only reach out to your current customers — make an effort to contact popular trade show blogs or magazines and let them know about the unique offerings at your booth. Let the world know the details of your exhibit appearance: your booth number and location, any giveaways or promotions, product demonstrations, etc.
Now days, blogs are a fantastic way to draw traffic to your website and add value to your customers’ lives. If your company doesn’t already maintain a blog section on your website, consider creating one. If you already have a blog, be sure to write a few posts that promote your booth and provide a glimpse into what your readers can expect if they show up.
You can maximize your booth’s foot traffic by offering an incentive specifically to your blog readers. Your readers are an essential element to the success, promotion, and visibility of your company’s website. Let your readership know you appreciate them by offering a special gift or promotional item for those who stop by your exhibit space.
If your company doesn’t maintain an official YouTube channel, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to reach your customers. YouTube is an incredibly powerful social media platform with a community of users who consistently support the channels they subscribe to. For companies who already maintain a YouTube channel, be sure to produce a few high quality videos promoting the trade show so your subscribers can learn about your booth.
These videos may not receive an overwhelming amount of views, but they will entice viewers who are living in exhibition’s city and create an incentive for them to visit. Post these promotional videos to all of your social media outlets, making them easily visible and shareable. Also, be sure to add a story or intriguing element to these videos so they can be enjoyed by viewers who are unable to make it to the show.
Save the trees — and save money while you’re at it. Though there’s something appealing about having tangible brochures available at your booth, the truth is that it’s a waste of money. It might feel unfavorable to eliminate paper from your exhibit, but you’ll yield a higher return on your investment if you do.
At the end of the day, 95% of your brochures will end up in the trash. Rather than wasting money and trees, place your focus on the electronic methods of sharing information. Use LCD TVs and find ways to utilize social media and downloadable brochures. And always remember, you can still provide attendees with something tangible to take away from your booth via your giveaways, gifts, and other promotional items.
Email newsletters are remarkably valuable. Many online business rely heavily on email newsletters to attract visitors, build an audience, and sell their products. Before the trade show, send out email newsletters with an overview of your exhibit details. If possible, send this email solely to subscribers who live near the city that’s hosting the trade show. Keep these emails subtle and brief — you don’t want your subscribers to feel like you’re spamming them or abusing their contact information.
After the trade show, perform a similar emailing process and ask your customers for feedback on their experience at the show. Did they visit your booth? Why or why not? If they did, did they have a pleasant experience? Blasting out an email or an anonymous survey can lead to some invaluable insight about your trade show performance.