If you’ve thought that trade show marketing no longer has a place in today’s highly connected, digital world where you can add new friends or contacts at a click of button, think again. As much as communication changes, nothing has replaced the power of a face-to-face meetings when you’re asking someone to part with their money.
Some convincing statistics from the Center for Exposition Industry Research:
- 77% of decision makers found at least one new supplier at the last show they attended.
- 51% of expo attendees requested that a sales representative visit their company after the show.
- 76% of decision makers asked for a price quotation at the last show they attended.
If you’re absent from exhibiting at your industry events where you can spend valuable time with new prospects and existing customers, chances are, your competitors are right there to take up the slack.
In fact, the same CEIR study reveals that 72% of marketers participate in trade shows to get leads from new buyers and prospects, 65% are there to see current clients – and more than half attend because their competition is there.
Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you make the best use of time and drive the better return on your trade show marketing investment:
DO your research. Once you identified the shows that are a good fit for your organization and target market, get the list of event registrants. Drive interest early through pre-show mailings that “tease” your special offers, giveaways or demonstrations. Have a social media following? It’s a cost-effective channel to generate “buzz.”
DO take a critical eye to your booth or display. How long has it been since you’ve replaced your gear? If you’ve become a little too comfortable with normal wear and tear, remember your prospects are seeing it for the first time. Consider some of the newer lightweight, fabric displays that set up easily and are designed for portability.
DO outfit your team in logoed apparel. Make it easy for booth visitors to identify your team of experts, while promoting brand awareness as your staff walks to, from and around the trade show floor.
DON’T let prospects leave empty-handed. One thing’s for certain: people like free stuff. And promotional products are inexpensive ways to extend your brand messaging. On average, a promotional item is kept for seven months with nearly two-thirds given away to someone else.
DON’T neglect the follow-up. All of your efforts will be for naught if you fail to nurture your leads. Post-show mailers can be pre-packaged and ready to drop the moment you return. Simply include a hand-written note that’s relevant to each prospect to personalize your communication. Prioritize and divide the leads among your sales team, working the strongest ones first.
Let us know if you can use an extra set of hands. We can help with pre-event direct mail promotions, on-site signage, displays, printed brochures and promotional products, as well as post-event email marketing, fulfillment materials and more.