Trade shows are a great way to engage new and existing clients, but how can you make the most of these in-person events? That’s where trade show marketing comes in. It ensures that your target attendees know about your upcoming show and are motivated to visit your booth.
However, your marketing campaign shouldn’t be limited to pre-show efforts. To get the best results, you’ll need to stay active before, during, and long after the trade show has ended.
Here are effective trade show marketing tips you can share with your team to help you earn more qualified leads, and ultimately, sales.
Pre-Show Marketing: Inviting Customers to Your Booth
Leverage Social Media
Social media is a great way to announce your future events and promos. Even without paid social media advertising, you can generate enough buzz to attract a good number of attendees.
When posting updates on social media, remember to support your campaign with a landing page. This is where you can focus on talking more about the event. It should feature the perks your customers can get when they set up an appointment or show up at your booth.
Send Email Campaigns
Not everyone will be able to see your social media posts, so take advantage of your customer database to reach out and email your most involved customers about the trade show. Give them a summary of what to expect and offer a token that can be claimed at the event. Make this giveaway exclusive to those who subscribed to your newsletter to encourage participation.
Post on Event Boards
There are many event boards online where you can announce upcoming events for everyone to see. These boards use tags for events, so people who are interested in particular categories can quickly see or get notifications about related posts. Many of these event boards are also free. Plus, you can link them to your social media account, website, or directly to your ticketing agent.
Use Paid Advertising
If you have a bigger budget, publish ads or press releases. Those who will see your ads are likely already interested in your product or service, so this is a good way to get potential customers. Paying for “patron” or “sponsor” status can also help promote your booth, as the organizer will surely include you in their promotional campaign.
Track Your Leads
When you send out promotional materials, create a way for your team to determine where you earned your leads. This can help you decide on your next event’s marketing plan. One way to do this is by using UTM (urchin tracking module) links when posting announcements online.
UTM URLs will allow you to see where your leads are coming from—specifically, you’ll know what they clicked to get to your event’s landing page. For example, customers can click on UTM links on your Facebook post or newsletter. Analyzing this kind of data can help you streamline your efforts and your budget so you don’t spend too much resources on methods that don’t help promote your event.
Prepare Your Booth and Materials
Aside from pre-show marketing, having an appealing booth can help attract people to your corner. You’ll need to prepare this before the event, but the effect will only be visible on the day itself.
Prepare comfortable seats, enticing visual aids, and product samples to encourage stops and inquiries. Handouts will also be helpful for potential customers looking for options but can’t make decisions on the spot. Make sure you provide them with something tangible to help with brand recall and recognition.
Trade Show Proper: Boosting Your Sales Potential
Observe Customer Behaviour
Take note of customer behaviour and feedback during the event. Don’t forget to keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Most trade shows are at least three days long. If you didn’t do well on your first day, you can use customer feedback and behaviour to improve your performance in succeeding days.
Post Event Updates Online
Stir FOMO (fear of missing out) among your customers by showing them what they’re missing. Share actual pictures of customers getting free merchandise or discounts, snippets of learning materials exclusive to attendees, and what to look forward to the next day.
Post-Event: Following Up on Your Leads
Update Your Customer List
Make sure you add new contacts to your mailing list or customer database. Always have a sign-up form at your booth so that you can gather contact information like email addresses and mobile numbers. If they haven’t made a commitment yet, offer a limited-time or exclusive deal to encourage a purchase.
Contact Qualified Leads
After the event, make sure to reach out to potential customers who wished to be contacted. When you send an email, include as much information as possible to help them decide in your favour, without being too aggressive with your sales pitch.
Brag About Your Event
Give customers something to look forward to next year by posting about the event on your social media accounts, blogs, and newsletter. Even if they weren’t able to attend, they can still hear about new products and services and possibly reach out to you about them.
Get Help From the Experts in Trade Show Marketing
Do you have plenty of ideas but need help with executing them? It’s time to contact trade show marketing masters like The Concierge Club.
Our experiential marketing experts are some of the best in the industry. From promoting and organizing your trade show to setting up a booth, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking to get the highest possible return out of your trade show budget, call our event crew now. We’ll help map out the best trade show marketing and event plan for you.