Trade shows play a vital role in aligning your business goals with your marketing goals and can have a big impact on your bottom line. They can help you bring in new leads, generate buzz around a new product, create brand awareness, and bring you a face-to-face meeting with that elusive customer you’ve been wooing for six months. Having clearly-defined marketing goals before you get there will ensure a more successful trade show experience.
CLEARLY-DEFINED MARKETING GOALS
So, what is a clearly-defined marketing goal? It’s the difference between: We need more potential customers to stop by our booth than last year vs. We need to generate 55 new qualified leads, land two new customers by the close of the show, and bring 200 visitors to our website after the event in order to meet our trade show revenue goal of $250,000.
The well-defined goal gives you and your staff a specific road map for your marketing strategy that’s easy to measure; and it can also help you plan your exhibit space.
TRADE SHOW DISPLAY AS A MARKETING TOOL
Your exhibit is a large part of the trade show experience and the design should fit your marketing objectives. It should communicate your brand and resonate with visitors so much so that it will be well remembered after the show. Here are some design considerations:
- Modular exhibits offer flexibility and can be adapted to fit any trade show requirement.
- Custom designed exhibits are uniquely built to your specifications to showcase your brand.
- Rental exhibits are ideal if your business is testing the trade show waters and can be designed to suit.
PRE-SHOW MARKETING STRATEGIES
Upfront marketing efforts ahead of a trade show are crucial. In fact, 85% of companies use pre-show marketing tactics to increase traffic before the start of a trade show. Here are some pre-show marketing strategies to help meet goals.
- Content marketing. Create brand-focused content for social media and blogs to stimulate interest in the upcoming trade show.
- Landing page. Develop a landing page with show-specific details like your booth location, the products you’ll have, and why attendees should visit you.
- Email drip campaigns. Send a series of emails spaced days apart to a targeted audience with specific messaging about your appearance at the show.
- Pay-Per-Click. Use PPC ads to promote the fact that your business is part of this important industry event.
POST-SHOW MARKETING STRATEGIES
Don’t wait until you return home from the trade show to start the follow-up process. Start writing your emails to potential clients while it is still fresh. Here are some ideas for post-show engagement:
- Business cards. Follow up with everyone that left you a business card promptly after the show.
- Track leads from your landing page. All the traffic that came through your pre-show landing page is a lead, so add those potential clients to your list of follow-ups.
- Engage on social media. Post photos and videos of your trade show endeavors and invite followers to share their experiences from the show.
- Email drip campaign. Capitalizing on your pre-show email campaign, follow up with contacts and leads through another post-show campaign.
MEASURING TRADE SHOW MARKETING EFFORTS
To know that you hit your marketing goals at a trade show can be somewhat subjective because often those leads may take some time to close the deal. But, according to Exhibitor, you can make some estimation based on the following:
- The number of booth visitors who agree to a sales contact after the show.
- Enlist your sales force to track trade show leads that convert into sales.
Once you have this information, Exhibitor recommends using this calculation:
Number of sales x close rate x average value of a sale or contract = estimated revenue
With a cohesive strategy and well-defined goals, you and your team should have a winning formula for your next trade show. And don’t underestimate the power that a great trade show exhibit can have when it comes to reaching your marketing goals!
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