There is so much preparation needed when a trade show looms on the horizon. Planning your marketing strategy in advance is crucial to having a successful event.
Here are some pre-show marketing tips to help you generate better leads.
Have a pre-show budget
Most trade show budgets centre around the day itself, e.g., spending on the exhibition stands, presentation media and lead retrieval. A specialist, such as Fret Free Productions, can help with preparations.
However, there is also a massive opportunity to drum up interest in your brand pre-show.
All of your pre-show budgeting should go towards advertising your attendance at the event. High-quality advertisement shows your business in a positive light, building the brand and increasing the number of leads. This could be in the form of blog posts on other websites as well as interviews with journalists and influencers.
You should also be advertising through the official trade show directory and through your brand’s social media pages. Continue reading for further details.
All that’s left is to get that booth up and running and seal the deal at the event.
Set SMART goals
Enter the trade show with a SMART goal. SMART stands for:
- Specific: clear and unambiguous
- Measurable: specific criteria that can define your progress towards your goals
- Achievable: not impossible
- Relevant: realistic and appropriate
- Timely: within a defined timeline
Create a single goal that can tick off each SMART criterion, not separate targets to meet them.
For example, let’s imagine we are in the food industry and distribute produce to restaurants. We are attending the trade show to become a restaurant’s new supplier of produce.
To make this goal SMART, we can do the following:
- Specific: talk to the managers in charge of sourcing produce and ask for details of the foods they need, prices and frequency of deliveries.
- Measurable: get 5 more clients and follow up after the show to confirm details.
- Achievable: it’s not impossible.
- Relevant: appropriate for the growth of the business and this trade show is the best place to find new business.
- Timely: our deadline will be the end of the trade show – our produce will be available for inspection at the show, so business will be won here.
With this in place, we would be very well prepared for our trade show. Stick to these criteria when setting your own.
You should also set SMART goals for the business conducted after the trade show.
Arrange to be included in the official show directory
This should be the primary resource for attendees to find your business’ contact information and agenda.
Well-written material in an official directory is a powerful marketing technique as it confirms your attendance and gets visitors interested without having to do much advertising.
As part of your pre-show marketing, create a solid description of your brand, the product or service you provide and your unique selling point (USP).
If you have any new products or services about to launch, this is an ideal location to place an advertisement.
Reach out to potential prospects
Emailing prospects before a trade show is an effective marketing technique because it encourages them to set up future meetings with your business – such as at the trade show.
Provide valuable content to gauge the reader’s interest. For example, if you were in the digital marketing space, you may want to release a case study showing how your techniques have improved a client’s results.
Case studies work well in general for two reasons:
- They are incredible at providing social proof
- They are unique to each client, each telling a different and interesting story
From here, have a designated workflow so that once you receive the response from the outreach, everything can move smoothly in the right direction.
It also presents a great opportunity for a press release, detailing your attendance at the trade show and generating interest to additional prospects.
Create a buzz on social media
Social media has revolutionised the way that businesses can communicate with their audience, be it through pictures, videos, etc.
Once the location and date of the show have been confirmed, start following that event page and share their posts to your followers. This will show to the event page that you’re interested in their show and may follow you back, sharing your posts with their own audience.
Your content will then be accessed by a whole new audience.
Because of this, you should be promoting more content than usual on your social media pages. The more that your brand appears in industry discussions, the more recognition you will receive.
Teaser videos of what to expect from you at the show are great ways to generate buzz and excitement of your attendance.
Follow these five pre-trade show marketing tips and you’ll be prepared for the big day.
As the saying goes, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Stick to these points and you’ll enjoy a very successful event.
Author Bio:Tom Buckland is the Founder of an organic marketing agency based in the UK. Specialising in increasing revenues on Amazon & Google, he's the #1 ranked Amazon marketing consultant with http://amazonseoconsultant.com/ & the owner of HQ SEO.