Trade show displays are used in the same way billboards are used; to get a message across and to let everyone know who you are in the few seconds attendees spend scoping out your booth. With very little time to get their attention, an effective pre-trade show marketing campaign is just what you need to have people wanting to stop by your booth before even getting to the event. If all of this sounds overwhelming to you, follow these quick and easy tips to having a victorious trade show experience.
1. Outline your company s goals at the event
Before getting to wrapped up in promoting your custom display, there s one very important detail you need to know first what is your goal for exhibiting at the event? What results do you plan on getting? Some of the most common exhibitor goals include:
Generating leads and prospects
Meeting and schmoozing some of the most important people in your industry
Increasing exposure to your business
To leverage yourself as an expert through speaking engagements at the show
Whatever your reason is for wanting to go to the expo is a critical piece of information in order to know how it should be marketed to your audience.
2. Research trade shows you want to exhibit at
All trade shows are not the same; some are more effective for other industries, are too small or too large, or do not have your target audience in attendance. Create a list of local or, if you have the means to travel, national shows that you would be interested in going to, then determine the following information:
What businesses will be exhibiting at the show?Will your competitors be there?
Who is planning on attending the event?
Is it relevant to my business?
What have people said through social media about this particular show?
What types of media coverage will be there?
Are there any big movers and shakers in my industry that will be in attendance?
Who will be speaking at the show?
This information can be found by going to the trade show s website, scouring social media outlets, and contact the trade show organizers to obtain a list of registered exhibitors and attendees, either from this year or last year. If you don t know where to search for trade shows in your industry, there are numerous event directories that will provide thousands of events in various industries. TSNN is an excellent resource for this information.
3. Prepare for the big show
Now that you have determined your goal and know what event you will be participating in, the real work starts. Since a lot of time and effort will go into creating the perfect trade show exhibit, give yourself at least 30 days to get it all done. There are several things that need to get done for a successful event experience, including:
Design your booth: This is what people are going to remember about you at the show, so take your time creating the perfect booth. For ideas on designing your graphics, check out our Graphics Blog.
Ask if you can speak at the show: Nothing will get you more exposure than speaking at the event. If this is not something you are comfortable with, either enlist the help of other employees or executives of your company or hire a professional. Professional speakers are experienced at speaking to large groups and will be able to represent your company well.
Bring plenty of business cards, press kits, and other marketing materials that will be needed at the event: You will be meeting lots of different people and, while you may not remember all of their names, make sure they know yours by handing out plenty of business cards. Some exhibitors have created magnetic business cards that can be placed on a fridge, making it easy to stay in the minds of potential customers when they are ready to do business. Also, don t forget any brochures or other literature your audience may find helpful.
Social media is your friend: Before the show, keep your fans aware of all that you are doing to prepare for the show, where you will be located, and why they should stop by. Don t forget to use relevant hash tags to increase the chances of your audience getting your posts.
Send out press releases: Press releases are great if you are launching a new product or have made drastic changes to your business that the world should know about. Let readers know what changes your company has made and the details of your booth.
4. Contact local media outlets
Most likely there will be some press coverage at the event, depending on its size. Prior to the show, contact your local media outlets and ask if they will stop by and interview you at your truss display. This is a surefire way to guarantee you will be on their list of must-see exhibitors to interview.
With these ideas, you will not only gain the exposure you want to help build a more profitable business, but will also capture the attention of potential customers.