Many of my clients are focused on ways that they can get more “bang for the buck” at their trade shows. They want to get noticed but don’t always have the resources that their competitors might have. I counsel them to “work smart” so that they can use their investments to extend their reach without breaking the bank. Here are five ideas that could make a difference for your budget:
1. Announce your presence at your next trade show on your website with a promotion to drive traffic to your booth. If you are speaking at an event or participating in a panel discussion, this gives you material that you can use for an announcement banner on the top of your home page. Promotions can be effective — just make sure they are on strategy for your specific business. I have one client who is loading up branded flash drives with a demo of their new software application for “high value” prospects.
2. Use social media marketing to build buzz about your presence at your next show. Announce the event on your Facebook page and use Twitter to invite people to come to your booth, panel discussion, etc. I love this strategy because it’s inexpensive and time efficient — you can reach a lot of prospects and customers with one click.
3. Set as many advance appointments as possible in advance of the show. Over a three-day show, you can handle six breakfast meetings (don’t limit yourself to one meeting per morning). This is a great way to maximize your investment in your trade show.
4. Set team performance goals and expectations in advance of the show. Motivate them with incentives to reward them for getting the most leads, closing the most sales, etc. You should train your staff to communicate three key “take away” message that you want show attendees to remember.
5. Take a consultative approach when talking to prospects on the trade show floor. People who attend a show don’t want a “hard sell” and you want to be remembered as a company that will make a good business partner long after the show is over.