Whether you’re new to trade show marketing or an old pro, you can never have enough trade show marketing tips.
Every trade show is an opportunity to make a splash with your product or service. But since each show is a new show, it’s also an opportunity to apply new information to your presentation to have a more lasting impact on your lead generation results.
Here’s a look at three insightful trade show marketing tips from three professionals:
Embrace Social Technology, Says HubSpot’s Nathan Yerian
In his post "6 Tips For Building a Remarkable Trade Show Booth," Nathan Yerian commiserates with trade show marketers on the challenge of making a booth that stands out. But he also points out that that’s no excuse to give in and move forward with a trade show experience that’s less than noteworthy.
High on his list of tips is incorporating technology and social media into your booth presentation.
"Although trade shows are [in-person events], that doesn't mean that social media can’t play a part in your overall trade show effectiveness.”
He goes on to recommend using social media to connect event attendees onsite and engage those who stay home.
Effective social media engagement at a trade show can certainly influence attendee interaction— but it can also help you track and follow through with your lead generation and sales after the event. Investigate proximity marketing technology during the event to give customers an easy opportunity to opt-in to your messaging, then track and follow up on your social media engagement through event hashtags and direct social interactions.
Ken Krogue on Forbes Recommends Making (and Keeping) Appointments
Ken Krogue of InsideSales.com went all out with his trade show marketing tips post, "17 Skills For Highly Effective Trade Show Events," and it’s worth a read. His most insightful tip, however, is to set traditional appointments for your trade show... in advance.
“Our company got attention from setting appointments with 1057 people at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce trade show in San Francisco before the trade show even began,” says Krogue. “In fact, though, most companies don’t even think about setting appointments before an event. We don’t go to an event if we can’t set enough appointments to pay for it in advance.”
Krogue goes on to recommend treating trade shows like your typical lead generation process: Seek out specific customers with specific job titles. Make contact 3-6 weeks in advance of the trade show and ask if they’d like to make an appointment for a personalized presentation.
When you’re meeting with qualified leads, you can afford to give away top of the line freebies and swag, not to mention (as Krogue put it) “the really good chocolate.” The thought and personal interaction that goes into this process establishes excellent common ground for a powerful sales consultation.
AdAge’s Ruth P. Stevens Tweaks At-Show Performance
Finally, as Ruth P. Stevens writes in her AdAge piece, "How to Triple Your Trade Show Marketing Results," you can’t ignore the importance of your at-show performance.
“Much has been written about how to get the most from booth location, design and signage at a trade show. But to my mind, the single greatest leverage point lies with the staff that will populate your booth,” writes Stevens. “This is where those all-important business conversations take place. If those interactions are missed— or flubbed— your event ROI will suffer.”
Stevens recommends that you focus your attention on staff training and data retention.
First, make sure you invest time in training your sales, marketing, and technical team members with the best practices for engaging clients at a trade show. This will lead to more effective engaging and disengaging behaviors that make your staff’s performance more effective overall. Next, give your team tablet- or paper-based tools to make fast, accurate notes about each prospect’s needs and situation.
Trade show marketing tips evolve with new best practices over time. That’s why you need to stay on top of them, or work with a marketing professional that can segment the tried-and-true advice from the simply outdated.
Do you have a common trade show problem you’d like to troubleshoot?