In almost every industry, in every city, on every day of the week, there is a tradeshow in the United States. Tradeshows give you a chance to meet your target market face to face and to show them the products or services you offer. Whether your company is represented at a local venue or at a nationwide show, you will be presenting your brand to the public. With that in mind, you need to make sure you are making the most of it. After all, this is an investment from which you want to get maximum results and gain exposure for your company.
Leading Up to the Tradeshow: Plan Ahead, Create a Buzz, and Differentiate
Tradeshows are typically only a few days long, so in order to ensure you maximize your tradeshow booth traffic you?ll want to start targeting your current clients, leads, and prospects weeks in advance. A few inexpensive ways to generate interest and awareness in your tradeshow booth include:
- Sending a Mailer
- Calling on Clients
- Creating an Email Campaign
However, these methods of reaching out are worthless unless you add a Call to Action. To increase your tradeshow traffic, you?ll want to entice your target market to your booth. When sending a mailer or an email, consider including a request that the recipient bring that piece of paper to the booth to receive a free gift. When calling on clients, consider letting them know that they are on a VIP list and will need to come to the booth to receive a VIP gift.
During the Tradeshow: Qualify, Qualify, Qualify
Again, tradeshows are only a few days long, so you?ll want to capitalize on the short time you have with your target market. Consider hosting an event, being on a speaking panel or even creating a social media hashtag that allows people to interact and follow you all the way to your booth. With all of these avenues, you will be able to qualify your leads and determine their potential partnerships.
Missed opportunities at tradeshow booths are found when booth attendants do not qualify their audience. Instead of immediately scanning their badges and rattling off the features and benefits of your product or service, encourage your team to be engaging, and have real conversations. Learn about each person’s goals and why they are at the booth. Ask for business cards so that you can write down key words, goals and requests from your conversation. That way, you have concrete information to reference once you?re back in the office.
After the Tradeshow: Follow Up
When you get back into the office after a tradeshow it is always busy. Your team has urgent requests flowing in and backlogged work piling up. However, it is vital to add tradeshow follow up to the top of your to do” list. After spending all that time and money on a tradeshow the last thing you want to do is diminish your brand’s credibility by simply sending out a blanket “thank you for stopping by our booth” email and thinking that will suffice. Odds are it will get lost in the inbox and will yield little to no ROI.
Instead prioritize your qualified leads and reach out to them in a personalized way. Yes this may be tedious and take a few weeks to accomplish however it will be well worth it.
- Business Cards: Pick up the phone and make a warm call to your business card leads. You?ve already had a conversation at the booth and have taken notes. They will be impressed that you remembered their request and this will start to build trust in your company.
- Scanned Badges: Personally e-mail scanned badge leads. These leads stopped by your booth and expressed interest in your company. Sending a personalized e-mail (or if you have time calling them) will help you qualify them a bit more.
- Tradeshow Attendee List: Send a mailer or email campaign to the tradeshow attendee list that highlights what they saw at the booth and offers the recipient an opportunity to request more information get a quote or receive samples.
As with any story there is a beginning middle and end. Be sure to follow these simple steps to ensure your next tradeshow booth story is a memorable measurable and profitable one.