A trade show is an opportunity for companies to present their newest product to new, as well as regulated customers. Much goes into the planning of such shows, from scouting trade shows the year prior, to beginning the development of designing the concept of the trade show exhibit and then creating it. However, a very important factor in planning your trade show is prepping the customers and suppliers ahead of time. It is crucial to do so in order for your show to go off without a hitch – here are 5 tips that will tell you how and why.
1. Pre-Show Outreach
Informing your suppliers and potential customers ahead of time puts you and your show on the map. You could have the best booth in the show but if no one is there to see it, will it still make a sound? Outreach can vary in format but emailing the customers you already have, is a must! If you can obtain a copy of the events attendees list you can reach out to them with an incentive too. Another approach is to send out engaging flyers in the mail to your target audience, in an effort to stand out from the crowd of vendors. Lastly, to show that you care you can always take a personal approach and send out hand written notes or even have someone call prospective clients or current clients to invite them to stop by.
2. Make Appointments With The Regulars
If current clients are attending the show, offer to meet them at the show and connect with them exclusively or introduce them to prospects. This will organize your time as well as theirs; the customer won’t feel crowded by other onlookers as well as have the ability to clearly see what you have to offer. Additionally, this also insures that your VIPs do not clash over one another, causing you to possibly compromise one client over another.
3. Key Message For The Exhibit
Your show should have a clear-cut message, one that can be written in one sentence. Strategizing and planning slogans that are easy to read will make people remember and it will stick in their minds. Place it strategically for optimal exposure and maybe even on some swag items. When the message is easy for you to write it will be easy to retain as well. “It’s as simple as…”
4. Hyper Target Your Audience
Using tools like paid social ads, inviting people to test the product at the show to intrigue your audience about the upcoming show. Peak their interest to involve them in the trade show process or of the product that you are soon presenting. Getting the audience involved leads to more people hearing about the show and possibly attending it.
5. Run A Banner On The Event Website
It is key that you do this. Create a presence for your company name and product. Make yourself worthy of mention. By doing this you are telling everyone that you are worth knowing/reading/hearing about. You won’t be lazy and post it on your own site and twitter, but you are marking your territory in front of the other companies presenting. The other companies will have their lists of VIP member and suppliers who will be attending and say you don’t get your hands on that list of emails, they will find you on the event website. This will put you on the map not only for your customers, but for everyone else’s as well.
After doing all of this you are probably thinking, “Great! I was able to increase the attendees to my show, work well done.” Not even close. You need to still be sure to have a well-presented booth, salesmen who are well trained and most importantly to keep in touch with the clients after the show. Everyone whom you encountered and were able to get their contact information deserves follow-up emails and information regarding your company. The event may seem like the most important part of the process of creating awareness for your company’s name and product but in the scheme of things it really is only one part of it. You are creating a medium in which connections can be made, but the preparation is going to give you the push you need to make those connections and the follow-up is what will keep it successful and prosperous. Remember, a stitch in time saves nine.
Aliza is a communication designer and content crafter with an international background at the Marketing Zen Group. She writes about Yoga, Design, Trade Shows and Small Businesses. When she’s not writing or designing, Aliza enjoys traveling, and extreme sports. She also has a knack for learning languages and loves dancing. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Behance and twitter @lizazil214