A trade show is an ideal way of showcasing your products and services to a large number of prospects all at the one location and at the same time. Thoroughly planned marketing is the key to success at your next industry related exhibition.
The following are six of the most important marketing rules that exhibitors need to undertake to ensure their next trade show is a success.
1. Market Prior to the Show
Four weeks before the event, invite your prospects and current customers to visit you at the trade show.
Ensure that you design an invitation that gives delegates a real incentive to come over and visit. Think of a distinctive approach to promote your company. For example, you could provide demonstrations of the latest technology that can benefit your audience. People love to look at what the newest thing is and how it will save them time and money. If you have a new food product, offer free tastings and samples.
2. Create an Eye-Catching Booth
Your exhibition booth is perceived to be a reflection of what you are like as a company. Make sure it is warm and inviting and that it stands out from the crowd.
Signage must be clear and kept simple. Clearly write your business name on your sign and state your unique selling proposition. You only have 10 seconds to grab the attention of attendees as they walk past. If people cannot work out what you are selling they will keep on walking.
3. Provide Promotional Materials
Brochures and leaflets are typical promotional materials that need to be freely available. Make sure your contact details and web address are printed on everything.
Set up a DVD player in your booth that continuously loops your marketing video. Make sure that the DVD you receive from your production house has this loop feature built in. We're all little kids at heart and colour and movement can be a great way to grab attention.
Playing your promotional video is also a great way to demonstrate how your product is made and how your product works. Especially if your product is too large to take to the tradeshow or your production process is too long and complicated to explain.
4. Train your staff to Market for you.
Your staff represent your company and they must be professional at all times. Gossiping and ignoring delegates is a poor reflection of your company.
Make sure you staff your booth with employees who are people-orientated. Brief them fully on what is required of them. Let them know the reasons why you are at the trade show, what you are exhibiting and what you hope to achieve by being at the event.
Training on how to correctly approach and interact with people and collect quality leads is also essential.
5. Appealing Giveaways
Whether we like to admit it, most of us have probably left a trade show and proudly shown off our new pens and trinkets to those unable to attend.
It can be easy to dismiss these giveaway items as a waste of money. However, the reality is that they do increase awareness of your company and entice attendees to your booth.
The trick is making sure that you are giving away an item that your target audience wants. What items will appeal to your market?
6. Lead follow up
A successful trade show is dependent upon your skills in following up leads. Research has found that 70% of trade show leads do not receive proper follow up.
To make the job easier, plan before the trade show how you are going to follow up prospects. Design a system to mail out information to leads within a week or two of the event and how you will follow these up. The longer leads are left unattended the colder they will become.
Ideally, ensure that all your leads are qualified before you pass them on to your sales team.
(c) Marie-Claire Ross 2004. All rights reserved.
Marie-Claire Ross is one of the partners of Digicast. Digicast works with organisations who are not satisfied that their marketing and training materials are helping their business grow. She can be contacted on 0500 800 234 (Australia wide) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is at http://www.digicast.com.au.