If you tend to believe that preparing for a trade show exhibit is a mere cakewalk, then think again. Believe it or not, it is not at all an ordinary task for planning a trade show; it calls for creativity as well as adept strategy. Behind every trade show, there lies the latent intent of the organizers to generate more and more business leads and achieve a positive return on investment. It is needless to mention that trade show exhibits call for huge investments; therefore, you need to take ample care to not let the business value slip-off while organizing such events. Eventually, you need to prove the trade show as an effective marketing platform for your organization. But, in what ways you would prudently plan such an exhibit? Here are a few effective steps:
Planning things well-ahead of the show is perhaps the first impactful step in efficiently maintaining the event. Bear in mind that it is never too early to start the preparation and in fact the earlier, the better which would not only help in cutting some fixed costs but also enable you spread the news of your event to your target audience well in advance. It is apparently prudent to book the flight tickets for your event team as early as possible before the ticket costs go up. Likewise, booking the hotel rooms in advance will help you to secure the rooms ahead of the hotel sells those out. In addition, indulging in pre-show campaigning will help in creating an atmosphere of interest among your would-be visitors. Make a list of the big information you would share at the event, say launching a new product or stuff like that, and send emails involving those to your prospective audience. Use the email as a medium to keep your target audience informed about the important news and your keenness to personally meet them during the event.
Prepare What to Communicate
The unstated objective of any trade show is business generation. So, prepare your sales team to communicate properly with the visitors during the event. Make sure they are updated will all the relevant information in respect to your marketing strategy.
Set Up Your Trade Show Exhibit to Catch the Eye
Your trade show exhibit is the face of your company in the trade show. There seems to be no need to apprise you on that. Although it is essential for you to work according to a tight budget, yet you need to take extra care in not letting the brand value erode off your booth. So, plan prudently into how your booth will look like, how will be experience of the visitors and how will the atmosphere of your booth facilitate great conversation with visitors, and so on. Choose the location of your booth wisely as that along with the set-up will have a direct impact on the success. Some aspects to consider are: colour, lighting and size of the booth.
Schedule Booth Meetings in Advance
One of the potent indicators of a successful trade show is the higher number of footfalls. And one of the ways to achieve this is to pre-schedule booth meetings. Deploy your sales team to pre-schedule booth meetings with prospects and existing customers. Encourage your sales team to increase the number of such pre-scheduled meetings vis-a-vis your last event.
Strategic conversation will apparently help in attaining your prime goal–converting visitors into customers. So, train your sales team on the strategic points of communication and the corresponding flow to attract visitors.
Social Media Activity
Social Media has more power than you might think in bringing in success for your trade show. So, do not forget to leverage the power to the fullest. Post pictures and comments actively before and during the event. You can smartly invite the attendees through your postings to engage into a contest in your booth. But, you should make sure that you never fail to include the event hashtag and your booth number so that attendees are able to locate you easily.
Who does not like freebies? Everybody does. They why not leverage the attractiveness of freebies to attract more footfalls to your trade show. Give away some freebies to attract attendees. But, be creative in the offerings you choose. For example, you can plan for offering eatables (since everybody loves to eat), such as coffee, and invite attendees to come to your booth for a cup of coffee. In this way, it will not only help in breaking the ice but also open up conversations with them– also a way to convert them into customers.
Rapport with Visitors
Never allow any visitor leave your booth without a communication. Instruct your sales team to speak to each of them and make sure that they exchange business cards with the visitors, enabling following them up.
The actual marketing starts only after the trade show gets over. Now, it is the time for following up the leads you spoke to and the ones who had left their business cards with you. Walk an extra mile in reaching out personally whom you noted showing strong interest.