Establishing Your Strategy And Goals
You should know how trade show marketing fits into your company’s overall strategy. Introducing new products, building brand awareness, and promoting lines of services are all components of a bigger picture. Establish your strategy and create goals that are consistent with it. You may have different objectives for each show on your calendar. If so, identify what you want to accomplish at each event and quantify it.
This is also the time to watch for trends and notable events within your market. Has a competitor launched an innovative product recently? Have you conducted a customer survey that has suggested a new opportunity exists. If so, these things might fit within your existing trade show strategies.
Launching Your Trade Show Marketing Campaign
Start building the buzz early about your booths. Call your best customers and set up appointments at the shows you’ll be attending. Mention your upcoming trade shows in your customer newsletters, emails, and even flyers that accompany invoices. Schedule delivery of postcards and mailings to your customer list, beginning several weeks before each show. The earlier you begin informing your customers and leads, the more likely they will visit your booths.
Displays, Designs, And More
If your trade show marketing plans include attending more than a few shows during the upcoming year, plan the design of your booths and displays as early as possible. Many exhibitors underestimate the time it takes to design and deliver banners, displays, paneling systems, and lighting. If you leave these details until the last minute, you may be hard-pressed to find a company who can deliver them by the time you need them. If a company does agree to work with you on a rush basis, they’ll charge you for the privilege. Plan to order these pieces a few months in advance of the shows for which you’ll need them.
Set aside a portion of your staff’s time to follow up with the leads they collect from the events. This should be a key component in your trade show marketing plans. Spending time and effort making sure that everything goes according to plan before and during the show is largely wasted if you allow qualified leads to become cold. Start contacting them within a couple of days after each show.
Taking Advantage Of Opportunity
Remember, just because the economy is flirting with a recession doesn’t mean that your customers and leads have stopped looking for solutions. This can be a perfect opportunity to ratchet up your trade show marketing efforts in order to reach new customers. Realize that the effectiveness of your trade show strategies are unlikely to significantly change based solely on the whims of the economy. Now is the time to strike.
About the author
Jon Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques and using trade show marketing tactics to boost revenue.