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Tradeshow Marketing

A solid strategy is required to make the most of your tradeshow marketing efforts.

While some companies seem to benefit from tradeshows, many come home wondering whether their time and money was worth it. With some proper strategizing and planning, your tradeshow efforts can get the buzz and results that you want. Here are 9 steps to revitalizing your tradeshow marketing strategy.

1. Plan far in advance
Many times companies either register far in advance for the tradeshow, and then forget about it; or they’re last minute and reactionary with picking the tradeshows they participate in. Either way, to do tradeshows right, you need to begin your planning long in advance. Planning for a tradeshow it isn’t just about booking flights and hotel rooms for your staff. It should be a very strategic process, where every aspect of your tradeshow—pre-show, during-show and post-show—are all meticulously thought through and tied back to a strategy and aligned with your business goals and objectives.

2. Be a speaker, don’t just exhibit
Having a booth is great, but the platform that being a speaker provides is tough to beat. Speaking on a topic of expertise to a targeted audience provides instant credibility. It also provides a great opportunity to cross promote your booth happenings as well as giving your booth staff something to talk to visitors about. The slide deck from your presentation can also be used as content to nurture leads and prospects after the tradeshow. Most tradeshows have a process for finding speakers, so you need to look into it and submit a proposal long in advance.

3. Determine tradeshow goals beforehand
What are you looking to accomplish at the tradeshow? What is your purpose for being there? For some companies, it may be simply about generating buzz and awareness for the company itself or perhaps a new product or service launch. For others, there might be specific sales-related objectives such as generating a certain number of leads and opportunities, or capturing as many target-rich contacts as possible for your email database. Or it may be a combination of all of these objectives.

The point is, determine in advance, long before the event, what it is you actually are looking to accomplish because EVERYTHING you do related to the tradeshow should be connected back to accomplishing your event objectives. Be sure to set specific, quantifiable metrics for measuring the success of your tradeshow.

4. Spread the word in advance of the event
Don’t wait until the tradeshow to start generating buzz, get buzzing before the event. Ways to do this are by hosting a webinar as a countdown for the show, post on social media, or emailing contacts about what your company will be featuring at the show.

In addition, take the opportunity to personally invite prospects and customers to meet you at the tradeshow. Based on what you’ve planned for the show (presentation, promotion, new product launch, demos, free consulting time, etc.), give them a good reason to show up to your booth or session. Also, work ahead to schedule appointments with qualified leads for consultations, presentations, demos or other meetings in advance of the event. Face-to-face meetings are a great way to nurture leads or even close a deal.

5. Select an ideal booth space and make it open and inviting
Booth location plays a critical role in the success of your tradeshow efforts. As part of your planning process, you should understand the layout of the exhibit hall and choose a location that will be best suited for high traffic and engagement opportunities. This will require registering for the conference far in advance, as last minute registrations will almost always lead to less-than-ideal booth locations. With most tradeshows, especially larger ones, you’ll pay a premium for larger spaces and larger spaces are typically located in ideal locations. You’ll also want to know your booth setup in advance: the dimensions of your space, ceiling height, access to lighting, internet access, electricity, etc. This will determine how you set up your space.

One way to immediately engage with potential customers at a tradeshow is by setting up a space that makes them feel welcome. Having a table across the front of the booth space can make it appear closed off and uninviting. Instead, create a space where people can enter without feeling trapped. You can create different stations in the space for people to learn about your company and products or services. This subtle practice in “feng shui” will decrease the chance of having people pass you by and increase the likelihood that they’ll step in and make a connection with one of your representatives.

6. Design your booth, messaging and giveaways to make an impact
In a sea of booths, often on either side of crowded aisles, you have mere seconds to attract a passerby to your booth. So creating a powerful visual impact with simple and clear messaging is very important to lure people in. Your booth is intended to be a backdrop, not a brochure. This can’t be overstated: people walking by should be able to instantly recognize who you are and what you do. It’s your booth staff’s job to take it from there. Also, be sure your brand is prominent and consistent with your other marketing materials.

And when it comes to SWAG, be sure to select giveaway items that stand out from the norm. Sure items like ink pens are a staple, but in addition to those, choose other items that attendees will actually want to keep for themselves, not just collect to give to their kids when they get home. Remember, even your giveaways are a reflection of your brand, so choose items that are both unique and desirable.

7. Develop an engagement plan
Your booth should be staffed with energetic and enthusiastic employees that connect with tradeshow attendees and are implementing the strategy you defined long before they arrived. Working on laptops or tablets, scanning emails on smartphones and sitting down in chairs is sure to send negative signals to a passerby. Your staff is there to work the booth, so that should be the primary focus.

In addition to having engaging conversations, consider something else to lure in and engage an audience. Motion graphics, videos and demonstrations can be powerful vehicles for drawing interest and succinctly (and entertainingly) conveying more about your services and/or products.

Contests, promotions, giveaways and other creative methods can also be used to help companies create some hype and achieve their tradeshow goals. But it’s more than just SWAG and iPad giveaways, you need to have a plan of action for generating conversations, identifying legitimate leads and capturing their contact information through a scanner or landing page. This will be helpful when beginning the lead nurturing process after the event.

8. Create a post-event follow-up strategy
Just because the tradeshow is over, doesn’t mean that your work is done. This is where many tradeshow efforts miss the mark. Follow up with the attendees that visited your booth and gave you their contact information. However, don’t mistake all these contacts as warm leads and try to immediately sell to them. Send them an email to thank them for stopping by, offer them a free download of your presentation and try to gauge their interest. By the number of unsubscribes you get from your initial email, you’ll pretty quickly know who was interested in your company and who just wanted that iPad you gave away.

For those contacts remaining, set up a lead nurturing campaign. This will help determine which prospects are worth pursuing and save your sales team a lot of time and energy. Keep the buzz going by generating post-tradeshow content on your blog and social media channels. And lastly, measure the results of your efforts according to the goals you set for the show and do so for several months after the show is over.

9. Set up a post-mortem debrief with the sales and marketing teams
After you return from a tradeshow, it’s critical to promptly set up a post-mortem debrief meeting with members of your sales and marketing teams. It’s important to get a 360-degree download of the show: successes, failures, shortcomings, the good, the bad and the mediocre. The reality is that sometimes your best ideas may fall flat when put into practice or your team is forced to improvise or adjust for one reason or another. Post-mortem debriefs are helpful to identity any lessons learned and action items that need to be taken to improve the success of the next tradeshow.

Any company on almost any budget can be successful at tradeshow marketing if they take the time to develop a solid strategy, execute it and follow through on post-event activities.


Display trusses are matchless in performance

You have to believe that time is gold when it comes to arranging tradeshow exhibit where you are burdened with several things on the same time and you need to be there on time for attending the event as well as welcoming your first visitors. Display trusses may lessen the load of work that you have on your shoulders- since the customized display trusses are easy to install and dismantle and take less space being in a particular size, you can put on less amount of workforce on display trusses and have an easy to present set-up in the minutes. And spend additional minutes in propping up tables, chairs, and preventative materials for your attendees and visitors.


Can a custom tradeshow design increase the sales?

This question has been asked relatively a quite more times than any other question about tradeshow. The smartest answer is that a custom tradeshow can definitely increase your sales at the exhibition because you have presented yourself in your own style and cared not to display your products like your competitors who might have lost in the promotions that have forgotten to upgrade their display booth for being working on the busy schedule.  Custom tradeshow is actually created according to a specific and particular product theme and it stands more chances to increase sales being very distinctive in its outlook and presentation.


Display booth design and your color

Selecting colors for the booth design is really intimidating, hectic, and cumbersome, because a simple mistake in the selection of shade could cause public to ignore your offer and services. The color really matters and that’s why you see designer and show organizers emphasizing on the booth design’s structure and choice of colors. It is said that the theme of your product should have a good match-up with the shades you are choosing. Let’s say you are promoting a cell phone with grey and black color, if this is so, you need to use both colors and blend them in the display booth because doing so is not just impressive but also good to make your booth eye-candid.


Nothing works like modular display system

Modular display system is an advanced, professional, and pro-active tradeshow design idea you will ever love to incorporate in your exhibition. Whether it is a long distance exhibit or a local tradeshow event you have to percept the best way to stand out in the crowd and for modular display system is the best.  With diversity of shapes, colors, and designs, you have literally profound types of modular display system to choose from. Choosing one that’s able to reflect your product and service would do it. And for you should need to take good decision after making an analysis on your product’s color theme.


Pop up displays have revolutionized the world of tradeshow

If any display could make your presentation smartly by the way of graphics without missing on anything that you really want to express, it’s sure none that pop-up displays. Easy to pop-up and easy to pop-down, these pop up displays have ability to carry your brand’s message in an openly manner right in the air by sticking to a fix position. Question now it what to write-down and display on the graphics- bear in your mind that unnecessary messages aren’t cutting anymore, you have to write just to-the-point preview of your product with worth mentioning points and use powerful graphics to give a soul to your words. The presentation is powerful with pop-up graphics and this is when you know how to use them for the best part of promotion.


Can pop-up graphics help make news customers?

You might have observed that graphics hanging on the side-walks of busy roads always catch your attention no matter how engross in driving you are or how reluctant you feel to have a one sudden look at them. They catch your attention because they are meant to do this and they are designed to show you what you may otherwise ignore if they are left un- highlighted.  Pop up graphics have same worth in the tradeshow exhibition and you can use them to attract people and make them buy what you are selling or at least convince them to see what you have displayed. Pop-up graphics have been a way to bring your products into attendee’s attention; you can make the most of them and get more sales without doing extra work.


Portable display stands

Every business owner and tradeshow exhibitor wishes to have a factor in his tradeshow marketing equipment and this one factor is indeed portability. The more portable your tools are the greater you can manage your exhibition. Now, let’s talk about the portable display stands which come in a variety of shape and structures; you have literally tons of options to consider. The ease it that you can take them anywhere with you and make a quick set-up, and take advantage of their light-weight structure that’s easy to display anywhere in the tradeshow, even on the side of your pop-up graphic.


Booth design for new Era

The world of technology is changing around the clock and this has brought in so much versatility and uniqueness in the booth designs. And with so many designs one is sure to find a perfect display for one’s upcoming tradeshow or business promotion. When you purchase a booth design you need to check it for latest technology integration like audio and visual devices and more importantly for banners. Your booth design must be compatible for banners and graphics because you will be marketing your product to your audience using the same media and for you should have proper arrangements. Booth designs have a strong connection with the marketing and promotion and keeping the same factor into your consideration you should purchase the design that can reflect your company’s statement and style as well as product’s quality.


Tradeshow displays- take the best for promotion

Sometimes, it’s almost implausible to spend hundred of thousands of dollars on just one tradeshow display that you need for the promotion of your newly launched product. You already have one display that can be considered for the part, but you can’t take it to the exhibition for its being very bulky and heavy. Instead of bearing up transporting charges you are figuring out alternatives and can’t stand it at all. The best way is using rental tradeshow display without having to transport them to the state where the exhibition is being held. Suppose you are going to have a product’s promotion in Chicago and need a booth design along with display you can order for a rental booth display with any tradeshow equipment provider based in Chicago.


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