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Marketing Tips for Trade Show Season

By May 30, 2024Company News

Trade shows present a prime opportunity for businesses to showcase their product or service offerings to a new audience, connect with potential clients, and elevate brand awareness. However, success in this bustling environment requires thorough strategic planning for your brand to cut through the noise. Below are some actionable marketing tips to help you make the most out of trade show season and achieve your business objectives.

Setting Clear Objectives

Setting clear objectives is crucial for a successful trade show season. Before attending any trade show, it is important to determine what you hope to achieve from the event. Are you looking to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or showcase new products/services? By setting clear objectives, you can tailor your marketing strategies and booth design to align with your goals. This will help you stay focused and make the most out of your trade show experience.

Another important aspect of goal planning for trade shows is to establish measurable goals. With trade show attendance being so costly, it’s important to have clear KPI goals that will determine whether your strategy leads to a positive ROI. Goals for any trade show should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound or SMART. Determine specific targets that you want to achieve, such as collecting a certain number of leads or scheduling a certain number of demos during the show. This will allow you to track your progress and evaluate the success of your trade show efforts.

Pre-Show Outreach

Before the bustling trade show floor opens its doors, laying the groundwork with effective pre-show outreach is crucial. Start by reaching out to event organizers to inquire about accessing an email list of attendees. This direct line of communication enables you to share information about your booth and entice potential visitors to stop by. 

Streamline scheduling appointments with interested prospects by sharing a calendar link for booking appointments during the show in your email. Additionally, provide prospective attendees with a registration link for the event. Consider negotiating with organizers to offer special codes for discounted or complimentary tickets, encouraging early registration and increasing your booth’s foot traffic. 

Designing an Eye-Catching Booth

Designing an eye-catching booth is essential to attract attendees and stand out from the competition. Your booth should visually represent your brand and capture the attention of passersby. With so many different booths competing for the time and attention of attendees, standing out is key. Your booth must be visually appealing and communicate key value propositions within a few seconds as attendees walk by. Consider using bold colors, unique signage, and engaging displays to create a memorable experience for visitors. 

In addition to visual appeal, the layout of your booth should be well-organized and easily navigable. Be sure to provide clear signage to guide attendees where to go once they are inside. This is especially important for events with especially high attendee counts to prevent an overabundance of visitors.

Make Your Booth Interactive

Making your booth interactive for attendees is one of the most effective ways to make it memorable and impactful. Consider incorporating interactive elements such as LCD displays, touchscreens, or product demonstrations. These interactive elements will not only capture the attention of attendees but also allow them to actively engage with your brand. 

Another effective way to engage attendees is by hosting contests, giveaways, or interactive presentations. This will encourage participation and create a buzz around your booth that will help to drive further foot traffic. Gamifying the booth experience for visitors through activities like punch cards or booth scavenger hunts can make it even more likely they will engage with your team and want to learn more about your brand. By providing valuable and interactive content, you can leave a lasting impression on attendees and increase the chances of converting them into leads.

One final way of making your booth interactive is allowing the user to leave with something tangible. While physical business cards are still useful, having physical handouts or brochures provide high-value prospects with additional information that will reinforce what they learned during their visit. Swag is also an extremely popular way to give booth visitors something of value that they can use to remember you. Just be sure to require visitors to give up in exchange such as a business card, social media follow or form sign-up.

Utilizing Social Media Before, During, and After the Event

Utilizing social media before, during, and after the event is a powerful tactic to maximize your trade show success. In the weeks leading up to the event, create awareness by promoting your participation on social media. Share your show schedule, sneak peeks at your booth, and a link to register for the event to drive attendance. 

During the event, leverage social media to provide real-time updates, share photos/videos of your booth, and engage with attendees. Encourage them to share their experiences and use event-specific hashtags to increase your brand visibility. You can even plan a specific time to go live so non-attendees can tune in to get a taste of your booth experience. Using social media during the event will drive traffic to your booth and extend your reach to a wider audience.

After the event, engage with your trade show leads and attendees through social media. Share any relevant post-event content, such as event highlights and booth photos. Utilize social media platforms to nurture relationships, share valuable resources, and drive post-show conversions. 

Following Up with Leads Post-Show

Following up with leads post-show is critical for converting contacts made at a trade show into workable leads for your sales team. Add these contacts into your CRM immediately so they can be followed up on or enrolled into lead nurture sequences. For any physical business cards, the Hubspot app has an easy-to-use business card scanner.

For any specific visitors spoken to at your booth, have your sales team members request to connect with them on LinkedIn to continue these conversations. Connecting with potential leads immediately will increase the likelihood that they will turn into customers. For warm leads or key decision makers that visit your booth, send personalized follow-up emails or give them phone calls to discuss potential next steps.

When following up, be sure to provide relevant information and resources that address their specific needs, industry, and roles. This will showcase your expertise and value as a solution provider. Additionally, consider offering exclusive post-show promotions or discounts to incentivize conversions. The key is to stay engaged with your leads and provide ongoing support to guide them through the buyer’s journey.

Following the above strategies will help your company make the most of your trade show sponsorships and help you accomplish your revenue goals. For additional help building an effective trade show strategy, partner with the marketing experts at Alaniz.