Trade shows can be a pot of gold for many a business but, only with hard work and a decent marketing strategy. All too often, people pay for their space, bowl on up without any strategy and minimal preparation but, after the close of the show, wonder why it was not the rip roaring success that they expected.
So, as you book your slot, you need to start working on a strategy immediately to get the best return on your money. But, what do you include in a strategy? To help you out, here are 5 factors to include in your trade show marketing strategy…
Factor 1 – Make your show presence interactive
Studies as recent as 2014 show that trade shows exhibitions that are static and one dimensional are not successful simply because they have not buzz about them. Visitors want to be drawn in and entertained.
But, if the thought of being interactive sends shivers down your spine as you think it spells a performance that is just not ‘you’, then you will be pleased to know that this is not the case. If you have products, have prototypes and samples for people to handle. Create demonstrations or ask people to get involved in games and the like.
Remember, that people are more likely to remember your business if they were engaged at your stand!
Factor 2 – High impact visuals
There is a saying, ‘less is more’ and yet, for many of us this can be hard to achieve because a stand can look rather sparse and empty. Striking the right balance comes with the bold impression you make with your visuals. Depending on your budget, you can choose statement pieces from a carpet printed with your logo to custom printed roller banners, posters and so on. However, before you start mixing primary colours together, think about what colour says about you and your product.
Factor 3 – preparing your pitch
Another common mistake that trade show exhibitors make is that they have the all singing, all dancing stand but no idea what to say to people as they approach them. An awkward silence ensues.
This is why it is simply essential that you plan your pitch. Create a list of opening lines, how you will greet people and so on. What kind of questions will you ask them to entice them in to buying or trying? Do you really know your product inside and out?
Think of it as an elevator pitch, where you have a finite amount of time to put your message across. And practice.
Factor 4 – Gimmicks
We all love a gimmick. We pretend to hate them but we all secretly love them. Love them or gate them, having a gimmick on your stand is one way of attracting the attention of the passing populace, some of whom could be potential buyers and others not.
But, the key word is ‘attraction’. Once you have someone’s attention you can draw them over and this can have an interesting psychological effect on other people in the hall.
It is a natural human instinct for people to check out ‘what’s happening over there?’ when there seems to be a crowd thronging in one place.
Your trade show exhibition is about making sales, no denying but it is also about brand recognition. Not all of these people may be buyers but, they will remember you as being fun to interact with. Reputation is everything.
However, if gimmicks are sending a shudder down your spine, spend some time researching and thinking about what sits well with your product or at least have something that piques the interests of passers-by.
Factor 5 – Setting goals
Everyone forgets this one, from beginners to seasoned veterans of the exhibition floor, possibly because for many, the two or three day exhibition is a few days out of the office.
However, for those companies who see it as two to three days of valuable marketing time it will be exactly that as they will have planned and prepared for it… with SMART goals that they can achieve.
SMART – and acronym for specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time bound – do not just have to be about sales. It can be about the number of leads to follow up that each team member generates each day, or you can take the whole team approach.
Show-stopping visuals are key in getting people’s attention but don’t forget, yours are competing with a whole mix and clash of others too. Gimmicks can be one way of capturing the interest of people but, it will all be lost if you have no prepared pitch. Enjoy! This article was written by www.colourgraphics.com