Marketing is the lifeline of any business. Without proper advertising and promotion a business can neither enhance its image, let alone have people know of its existence.
Just imagine opening up a shop, be it a physical or an online one, and never bothering to promote it in any way.
Chances are you are never going to sell anything, or else sales are going to be sparse and just by chance. No business can survive in that manner.
There are many marketing methods one can use, but the main goal is always to draw as much attention as possible, and ensure that the target audience is as big as can be.
This increases a business’s chances of increasing customers and sales. And what better way to reach out to a really broad audience than to take part in a trade show or exhibition.
There are various trade shows organized from time to time where one may set up the stand or booth, and show off the products being sold or the services being offered by the business.
With all the people visiting the tradeshow you are going to have a very good exposure, and if you go about it really well, you are going to stand a very good chance of getting many new customers as well as sales.
What are some of the most important and effective marketing strategies one should use at a trade show?
At such exhibitions it is common to notice certain booths being literally packed with people checking out what is being sold or offered, and other stands being almost empty except from a couple of passers-by glancing at them but not bothering to stop for a closer look.
What makes some stands so popular, and others so practically useless?
It is all about the type of marketing strategies being utilized.
One wants to generate maximum interest and create a certain buzz so as to get really positive results. Here are some ways that can lead to this:
1. Set Goals
Simply signing up to take part in a tradeshow and going there with barely any idea how to go about it is a big no no.
One needs to really plan carefully and well in advance, as well as set certain goals to be reached.
Most trade shows come only once a year, so one needs to make the most out of them. One should plan what to focus on, whether it is just a limited range of products, or a broader range.
Setting a promotional campaign such as discounts or freebies is highly recommended.
Remember: Being aware of what you would like to reach is important as this improves your chances of actually reaching it, because you will have worked on the HOW to reach it.
So set reasonable but quantifiable and specific goals.
2. Find the Most Suitable Trade Show
There are going to be a myriad of trade shows in which to take part, but not each and every one of them offers the same kind of opportunities.
It depends on your field of business, as well as the type of visitors who are most likely to attend at that trade show.
If chances are that a good percentage of the visitors are going to be drawn by other kinds of products or services rather than what you are selling, then it is better to devote your time, attention and funds to other more suitable trade shows.
3. Spread the Word in Advance
It is important to ensure that your customers are informed that you are going to take part in an upcoming trade show.
Send out emails, or advertise this on your social media accounts to spread the word in advance.
Try to entice them and encourage them to attend because you will be offering something unique, such as special discounts, freebies and so on, or even maybe launching a new product or service.
While doing so you will also be reaching out to prospective customers who may make a mental note to visit the tradeshow so as to check out your offers.
4. Design A Killer Exhibition Booth
Impressions matter a great deal. Devoting time and money on the design and set up of a really impressive exhibition booth is extremely important.
It is a good idea to hire a trade show stand designer to see to this. Your ideas may be helpful, but a trade show stand designer will have knowledge and experience to make those ideas look better and be more effective.
After all this is what people will be seeing first as they pass by, and it is through this that you need to convince them to stop for a closer look rather than keep walking to the next stands.
Being creative and original is important as you need to stand out among all the other stands.
Colours used matter, and so does the layout of the stand and how the products are exhibited. Slogans or promotional messages need to be clear and captivating too.
5. Fully Prep Your Sales Team
The people who will be dealing with customers at your stand need to be courteous and friendly, but not too pushy.
You need to ensure that they are properly trained and knowledgeable. They need to look smart and helpful to encourage people to approach them too.
6. Utilise Social Media
Social media platforms are very effective and popular nowadays, and you need to grasp their power in your favour.
Make sure to utilize them heavily but adequately to reach out to many people while promoting your business.
The tradeshow itself will have its own social media presence where your business will be exposed and presented to prospective visitors too.
7. Be a Speaker, Not a Statue
A tradeshow booth is not intended to be a static, unlively statue in the middle of all the hubbub.
You need to draw people’s attention with what you are offering, and there are a number of ways to do this.
The visual impact of your stand matters, but you also need to draw people’s attention through what they see and hear.
8. Engage & Interact
Most people will be more willing to buy if they are allowed to interact rather than simply hear what your sales representative has to say.
So think about setting up interactive activities such as touchscreens with information, sign-ups with rewards, giveaways and even games and competitions so as to help people at the tradeshow feel more inclined to generate interest.
Create an enticing experience at your booth to have people feel more in touch with your brand.
9. Have Great Giveaways
Giveaways always attract people’s attention. Many people simply visit tradeshows to get as many freebies as possible.
So think about interesting or useful items you could offer as giveaways, and you can be sure that your trade show presence will be a huge success.
10. Always Follow Up
Keep track of how you are doing during the tradeshow.
Factors such as location, level of interest generated, number of sign-ups, and booth traffic, need to be carefully examined.
Since there are going to be a number of days, you will be able to measure your performance on different days, as well as pinpoint what seems to be working out best with visitors.
Measure your return and follow up on how you did so as to do even better in other trade shows in the future.
Bearing these tips and implementing these marketing strategies can greatly improve your performance at tradeshows.
Remember – this is a great opportunity to interact with people, acquire new customers, generate sales, as well as improve your brand image and exposure. So make the most out of it every time!