Some of the Best Practices That Make Your Trade Show Marketing Successful
Trade shows are a reliable and time-honored tradition amidst business-to-business marketers. The whole point of these shows was to give the prospects a chance to get a good look at the new offerings in the market. However, the advent of the internet has brought about a major change as firms have cut back on the practice of sending employees for attending trade shows. The value of exhibiting at trade shows was questioned by marketers because the cost associated with every lead obtained via this form of marketing of extremely high, even surpassing $250. Nevertheless, this marketing technique has shown great resilience.
This is primarily because marketers have come to the realization that there isn’t any substitute for face-to-face meetings with business partners and clients. Trade shows are the source of some of the highest quality leads of a business. Numerous companies still follow the practice of exhibiting at trade shows, but this number has reduced considerably and now they attempt to squeeze whatever value possible from them.
If you also want to wring out all you can from trade shows, you can follow some of the following trade show marketing practices:
- Customer appointments should be scheduled. During the show, every salesperson should establish meeting times with the customers they interact with. Prospect appointments should also be scheduled simultaneously as your existing customers can do the selling for you by engaging with potential ones.
- Appointments with editors should also be scheduled as facetime with them is invaluable. You should educate them in order to build trust as this can lead to ongoing PR coverage.
- Your booth at the trade show should be managed by someone with a marketing background. The marketing individuals are judged on the number of leads they generate through the show so they will aim to perform well. In addition, salespeople simply wait for prospects to come to them whereas marketing specialists are going to do everything they can to lure the prospects in their territory rather than wait on them.
- It is essential to triage the traffic; this means that marketing people should be focused on inviting passerby, customer service reps or salespeople should qualify them and then the qualified prospects should be moved to the back of the booth where sales engineers can spend plenty of time with them.
- Don’t spend a large sum on trinkets that you can give away to visitors. Your real prospects aren’t looking for these items. They are after real solutions. If you really want to, choose something that can effectively convey your message to the customer. This can be a miniature version of your product that’s both fun and useful.
- Never hand out literature to any unqualified prospects. Once the trade show is over, you will find most of what you gave out on the floor or in the bin. Is that what you want? Rather than giving it out, you can simply ask the clients to provide their email address or home address. Tell them you will deliver the literature to them so they don’t have to carry it around. In this way, you can ensure that the prospects will get an opportunity to go through the material.
- Make your booth attractive and the best way you can do this is by incorporating things that move. For instance, moving machinery instantly draws the attention of engineers. However, bear in mind that you should use something that’s relevant to your product and not just a prop for grabbing the eye. Don’t forget to be tasteful as cheap things aren’t going to reflect positively on you.
- It may seem like a good idea to have games as this will draw the crowd, but remember that most of this will be unqualified. You have to create an environment for selling rather than having random people at your booth.
- Presentations and demos are effective only when the show floor is crowded and your booth has enough space. These can be done twice a day for inviting prospects or you can hire someone for giving it on an hourly basis.
- Huddle with your staffers on a daily basis during the trade show. They need to be reminded of their tasks and roles along with their shifts. It is also necessary to do a review of the activities done so far and discuss what more can be done. Remind them of their mistakes and ask them to correct. It is your job to keep your team focused on the specific aims of exhibiting at the trade show such as number of appointments, number of qualified prospects and number of leads.
- While trade show displays may seem like a good idea, it is better for you to keep words at a minimum. You don’t want your booth to become a datasheet; it is better to make it a billboard. No one is going to come to your booth for reading the signage. Moreover, it is the responsibility of your staff to convey the product features and key messages of the business. The whole purpose is to make an environment for selling.
- If you are using signage, it should be above the table height or it will not be visible. Also, you have to ensure that the literature and booth graphics are in accordance with the theme and colors of your website so they are easily recognizable. You want your prospects and customers to be able to identify you easily when they look you up later on.
- Leads should be promptly followed up after the trade show. This will show the commitment of the business to its customers and striking while the iron is hot is bound to give you good results.
- Body language is also important when you are standing at your trade show booth. You have to be approachable and friendly if you want people to visit your booth. Standing with your arms crossed and scowling generally is not going to do the trick.