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Trade shows make it possible to connect with your audience in person while highlighting the benefits of your product or service. After you've determined your objectives and goals for being at a trade show, it's time to get people excited to visit your booth. While you're bound to capture some foot traffic, it doesn't necessarily guarantee the people stopping by will be qualified leads for you. The key is to start talking about your presence at the show weeks before you'll be exhibiting. If you can get people to think about your brand and purposely seek out your booth, you have a more feasible opportunity to get them to accomplish the objective you've set forth. Keep reading to find out some tips you can use pre-show to generate excitement.
Odds are your social media following is similar to the audience you want to connect with at a trade show. That said, you can utilize the social channels you're on to promote your trade show exhibit to your current followers. However, you should go beyond just stating your attendance. You'll need to draw your audience in and give them a reason to visit your booth. This could include sharing some of the information you plan to cover at your booth, teasing out promotions or giveaway offers – and, of course, your booth number/location. It's also crucial to continue actively posting on social media while the show is happening – use every opportunity you can to increase your booth attendance!
What's the point of capturing emails if they're going to sit around and collect dust? Promoting that you'll be at a trade show is a great way to utilize the email list your marketing and sales teams have built up. If you're using a marketing automation platform, you can mass-send emails to your audience conveying similar messaging to what you're sharing on social media. One thing to keep in mind is ensuring the audiences you're contacting are relevant to the trade show. For example, if you're exhibiting at a regional trade show, sending an email to your international contacts may not make sense. Or, if you're attending a trade show whose audience makeup is primarily architects, you'll want to target your communications with only those with that occupation.
If you're looking for a non-traditional approach to trade show marketing, you may be interested in using geofencing advertising campaigns. With these campaigns, you can select a specific geographic area, connect to the smartphones within the space, and send them highly targeted location-based marketing and advertising.
Not only do these campaigns help with brand awareness, but they can also increase the foot traffic to your booth. Running these campaigns can differentiate you from your competitors and give you the extra oomph needed for someone to choose to visit your booth. It's best to utilize this tactic just a day or two before the show and ramp up during the time of the show.
One audience that can often fall by the wayside is publication editors; however, these are some of the most critical people you'll want to connect with at a trade show. These individuals can generate buzz for your brand during and after the show – but connecting with them can be challenging if you don't have a plan.
Editors will often start filling up their appointment books weeks before the show begins, so it's vital to communicate with them proactively. When reaching out to editors, you should look at what you have to talk about and have a clear objective for why you're approaching the editor or publication. Most editors are on the hunt to learn about new products; conducting one-on-one interviews, hosting special events, or sponsoring a press lunch is a great way to communicate with them.
One thing not to overlook is designating a spokesperson who will take the lead in talking to editors about your brand, products, and/or service. Once you've selected this person, or in some cases, people, you should offer them basic media training and talking points they should focus on communicating to editors. When you've locked in media appointments, you'll want to come equipped with the proper press materials to support your conversations.
Incorporating some of the above trade show tactics into your trade show marketing plan will ensure you're added to people's "must-see" list of booths. True Digital Communications specializes in all aspects of trade show marketing and public relations. If your team needs help with trade show strategy or execution, don't hesitate to reach out.
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