Even during a global pandemic, you shouldn’t ignore tradeshow marketing. This is actually the best time to assess your marketing strategy and see how you can leverage tradeshows to boost your brand and gain new customers.
More than 90% of tradeshow attendees look to purchase new products. When things return to normal sometime in 2021, you want to be ready to hit the ground running.
Keep reading to learn the top tradeshow and event marketing tips that are sure to generate leads and customers.
Get a Team Together
It’s a mistake to have one person assume the duties of managing your tradeshow presence. There are a lot of details in putting together a successful tradeshow presence, and there is a lot of money at stake.
Get a committee of employees together to explore what the goals of the event are, and what you want the brand to be at the show.
These are critical questions that have to be answered early on in the process because they will dictate the rest of the decisions before the event.
Set a Tradeshow Calendar
You should have one calendar dedicated to tradeshows. The committee should decide which tradeshows to attend in the next year and enter the dates of those tradeshows.
You’ll then need to come up with a list of tasks that the team has to tackle and when they need to be completed. Each member of the committee should be responsible for the tasks.
The first thing you want to do is to secure booth space. Booth spaces in high-traffic areas go quickly. Waiting too long to take this step could mean the difference between a successful tradeshow and a money-losing activity.
Design a Booth That Fits
Take a moment to revisit your goals, the amount of space available, and how the brand should be presented at the show. These are the main factors of your booth design.
The best booth designs are approachable and welcoming. They are also interactive, giving potential customers a genuine experience of your brand.
The tradeshow committee should come up with a few design concepts. The rest of the design should be outsourced to a tradeshow design company like Rockway Exhibits. The committee provides input and then finalizes the idea.
Marketing During the Tradeshow
You have to have a strategy for during the tradeshow. In your planning sessions, decide which managers will be at the tradeshow and who they should meet with. Schedule as many meetings as you can beforehand for the high-level managers.
There should be a plan in place for setting up the booth and who will staff the booth. You may want to have a couple of crews rotate to keep the energy high. It also gives everyone an opportunity to see what else is happening on the show floor.
The people working the booth have to look alive the entire time. They should be great at answering questions, welcoming people to the booth, and striking up a conversation. You want people who are enthusiastic about your company and share it.
Using social media during the tradeshow is an excellent way to attract people to your booth and engage people who aren’t at the tradeshow. Make sure you know what the top hashtags are at the show and use them.
Post videos of your team at the booth and give people a look behind the scenes. For example, if one of your executives is giving a keynote at the show, post content about the preparation of the keynote.
What you do after the tradeshow is what will have the most impact on the ROI of the event. About 48% of salespeople fail to follow-up with leads. Meanwhile, roughly 60% of customers require 5 follow-up calls to close the deal.
That failure to follow-up with leads will turn all of that hard work into nothing.
Your committee has to have an action plan for after the tradeshow. Take all of the leads collected during the show and divide them into different categories.
The hottest leads go into one pile. They will be contacted by phone.
Leads that are interested but not ready to buy right now go into another pile. These leads should get a personal email to thank them for stopping by your booth. They will then go onto your email list for further follow-up.
You can work with the rest of the leads on social media. Be sure to invite those leads to like your pages and connect with them on LinkedIn.
These actions have to take place the day everyone is back in the office from the tradeshow. It’s hard to do because you and your team feel the need to catch up on email and everything else.
You should consider that first day in the office another day at the tradeshow. The catching up can wait one more day.
Don’t Forget to Debrief
A few weeks after the dust settles, your tradeshow committee should reconvene to discuss the tradeshow. This is a time to go over the total costs of the tradeshow and the potential ROI as a result of attending.
It’s time to review what went well during the tradeshow and what you can improve. These are all lessons that you want to carry over into the next tradeshow.
Finally, you’ll take a look at your tradeshow calendar and start planning for the next one.
Perfect Your Tradeshow Marketing Activities
Tradeshows are among the top ways to meet with potential clients face-to-face and get sales.
Tradeshow marketing is boiled down into three categories – planning, during the tradeshow, and after the tradeshow. Each person on your team has to know their responsibilities and execute them on time.
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