There’s no doubt about it – tradeshows can be daunting. There’s pressure to appeal to prospects and lure them away from your competitors’ booths, making sure you stay on top of your “A” game, and remembering not to fret over the small voice in the back of your head that’s reminding you that any oversight made can potentially ruin your company’s reputation. But, tradeshows are important for building your brand and connecting with customers.
So, how do you overcome these obstacles and stand out from the crowd in order to maximize the face-to-face marketing opportunities that tradeshows inevitably present? Make a good first impression by following these five fool-proof ways to guarantee your next tradeshow goes off without a hitch and leads to new business:
- Attend Tradeshows that are Relevant to Your Customer Base
Tradeshows, along with the composition of your customers, change over the years. The tradeshows that worked great a few years ago may no longer be a good fit. Sign up for the shows that are most compatible with your current customer list.
- Don’t Blow off Social Media
Announce ahead of time that you’re going to [insert tradeshow here]. On your website’s home page, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., be sure to post the upcoming show location, date and booth number so potential leads can find you easily. Bonus points for linking to the tradeshow’s social media page and using appropriate hashtags!
- Less is More
That doesn’t mean having a boring booth though either. When it comes to your display design, don’t create a museum exhibit with masterpieces of art. A good way to start designing your booth is to play off the event’s theme or the local culture of the region where the show is taking place. You only have a few seconds to grab a potential prospect’s attention, so make sure your graphics are simple but powerful.
- Giveaways = A Necessity
Tradeshow giveaways are an essential piece to helping people remember your company. There are thousands upon thousands of promotional products available. Your best bet is to figure out what item best represents your company and/or would be useful in the region where the tradeshow is being held (i.e. sunglasses in Florida). Above all else, just make sure your company name and logo are plastered somewhere on your giveaway item. Another good tip is to provide snacks and water, or be the booth that gives out tote bags so attendees have something to hold all of their samples in, because as people’s hands fill up, they’ll be looking for your booth!
- Don’t Procrastinate Afterwards
Remember: the tradeshow is not the main event! After the show is over, your work has really just begun. Gather contact information from everyone you meet at the show and send a post-tradeshow email or social media message. Let attendees know you were happy to meet them and you look forward to helping them achieve their future business goals. Send this communication within a couple weeks of the event, so you stay fresh in attendees’ minds.