One of the main goals of any event organizer is to bring people back year after year. This includes exhibitors, sponsors, and visitors, but is especially important when it comes to exhibitors. Businesses are followed to trade shows by their customers and contacts. Plus, having return exhibitors shows a consistency that people like to see. Below are some strategies for making your trade show experience one businesses will want to repeat.
Invest in Effective Marketing
Exhibitors don’t want to waste time at trade shows without attendance. You need to build an audience at the same time you build your exhibitor list. Some ways you can do this are:
- Choose a popular venue
- Host radio contests for prizes/admission
- Create event forums on social media where exhibitors can see active interest
Make sure your marketing reaches a wide audience by utilizing many forums. Billboards, newspapers, television, the internet. Not only will you get a wider range of interest, but when potential exhibitors see you in multiple places, they’ll know you’re doing the due-diligence needed to market a successful event.
Provide Resources for Success
Give your exhibitors the information they need to succeed at your event. Send out a schedule of events with recommendations for set-up times, parking, and unloading locations. Send out resources with recommendations for success like How to Stand out at a Tradeshow and 7 Things You Need to Prepare for A Tradeshow. Share success stories from other vendors from past years and provide a place for this year’s vendors to leave feedback.
Make Payment Easy
Exhibitors don’t want a complicated payment system they must track. Outline the payment process clearly, and make sure it only takes up one sheet of paper. Create personalized invoices that present all necessary information quickly and effectively. Make sure you take card payments as well as business checks. The more options you provide, the easier you make things for your vendors. Process payments quickly so that they don’t have memories of a hassle or any miscommunication.
Show You Want Them Back
Even if a business had great success at your trade show, they may need a reminder the next year. Put together an email list of exhibitors interested in returning and send them a personalized email invitation a few months before the next trade show. You can also put together a newsletter with updates on what will be new this year and how last year went overall. This is another great place to include success stories and testimonials!
About the author: Jeriann Ireland is a blogger and marketer in Boise Idaho. In addition to consulting businesses on their marketing strategies, she sells homemade goods at local markets and on Etsy. You can find more of her writing at her blog, dairyairhead.com.