CRW Graphics

Trade Show Marketing | Tips for Getting More Out of B-2-B Trade Show Attendance

Trade show marketing is a great way to enhance your experience when participating in a trade show, as it is a great opportunity to get exposure to new prospects for your business. Where else other than the Internet do prospects find you? But you do need to tread cautiously in choosing which trade show to participate in. Creating a pre-show marketing plan and post-show follow-up are key to the success of maximizing your trade show attendance, generating traffic to your booth, and nurturing any new connections made while at the show.
Trade Show Marketing
The best way to maximize your trade show marketing efforts is to first identify the target market you are interested in reaching and make sure there is a strong likelihood that they will be attending this particular show, even if you have been an exhibitor there before. Has the show changed in its demographic audience? Are your competitors attending? If so are they trying to attract the same market segment that you are? Or are they looking to attract a different segment for a product line that is substantially different from yours? Don’t just exhibit there because another competitor is unless it makes sense to attend to support your marketing strategy. Weak strategy can lead to weak performance and trade shows can be a very expensive proposition with booth fees, personnel commitment, travel costs and more.

Part of your trade show marketing plan should be doing pre-show marketing once you find a trade show that is a good fit. Consider driving people to your booth rather than just waiting for people to walk by. Hiring trade show event staff to drive traffic to your booth is another great way to gain exposure and make new connections with your target audience. The event staff is trained on your products and services, therefore offering an informative introduction to the company and as prospects gain more interest, a salesperson is then introduced for an indepth discussion when it gets into specific details.

Pre- Trade Show Marketing

Often you can purchase a list of the registered attendees. Something as easy and quick as a variable data postcard with your booth number and a strong call to action, for example a raffle, can drive traffic to your booth, allow sales personnel an audience with your prospects and allow you to quickly capture vital contact information through entry forms or a card reader at the booth. That card reader can capture the contact’s information place it into an excel spread sheet or even better, add it to an excel spread sheet that you have built in advance with check off boxes to indicate which of your product lines your prospects would like information about.

You can of course have product literature to share with prospects at your booth, a giveaway as they walk by but that often gets lost after the show if finished. Consider using the database you have just compiled from your entry forms or your card reader and excel spread sheet to upload as emails by territory to your sales reps for follow up on and then to support those reps, consider a mailing of a customized literature pack with personalized letter carrying your reps name and contact information to these same prospects. Schedule it to arrive the week after the show.

Post- Trade Show Marketing

If you are collaborating with printer who has JIT (just in time) print capability and who has a work flow that can handle your template letter, you can have a customized package sent out to each of the prospects that visited your booth. This can all be an automated process that will allow every lead to be captured. Your sales rep will find their cold call warmed up since the prospect has already been to your booth, you know what they are interested in no guesses here (they told you). Your rep now has that information in the first email that you sent them from this new database you composed at the show and the prospect has a nice packet of information on their desk. They have been told in the letter to expect a call from the particular rep you have indicated in the letter. It isn’t mixed in with all the premiums etc that they picked up at the booths and forgot to bring back into the office.

Trade show follow up is key to trade show success. Just showing up with a booth and hoping you will get business doesn’t work anymore. As with any sales process, it takes nurturing your relationships with prospects down the path to becoming a customer If you do the appropriate follow up you can measure and track the success of your trade show participation and the list you have built can be a great addition to your CRM.

Print + Marketing = Effectiveness

Print is only as effective as your marketing strategy. If your marketing strategy is weak, then don’t expect to have great results from your print marketing campaign. It’s important to have a well thought-out campaign that takes into consideration business objectives and your target audience. So how can you make your print marketing more effective?

Integrated Marketing Services

There are many pieces to your print marketing that can help you achieve your business objectives. Here’s the top 4 we feel are important to evaluate:

  1. Mailing List
  2. Thoroughly evaluate your mailing list and where/how you are sourcing this. The mailing list is one of the key components to a successful marketing campaign, because the goal is to reach people who need your products or services.

    Questions to consider:
    Do you have a targeted mailing list? The closer you can narrow in on your target audience, the closer you will be to achieving better results. Is your return-on-investment worth the value of the expected response rate?

  3. Layout
  4. Get into the mind of your prospects and customers, as you must clearly define a path to conversion. The layout of your marketing piece can make a big impact in your results.

    Questions to consider:
    Is the layout clean and simple? Is the message clearly defined? Does the design have a path to conversion?

  5. Call-to-Action
  6. One of the most important aspects of a marketing campaign is the call-to-action. If you don’t know the next step you want clients and prospects to take, how are they supposed to figure that out?

    Questions to consider:
    What are the goals you are looking to achieve? How can you create a call-to-action that will work towards the goals you defined for this marketing campaign? Is there clear direction for “next steps?” How are you measuring your results?

  7. Follow-Up
  8. If you started a marketing campaign, there is a goal you are hoping to achieve by reaching out to clients and prospects. Part of the marketing process includes a way to follow-why you decided to reach out.

    Questions to consider:
    On average, how many touches does it take to convert prospects to clients? How are you measuring your results? Are you using the right marketing messages?

When working on marketing campaigns, it’s easy to lose site of the “purpose” of the campaign when there are so many details that need to be pulled together. Make sure to let everyone involved in the project know what the goal of the campaign is, who the target audience is, and any other important details. This will help keep everyone on board with the focus of the campaign. Without those details, it’s like shooting in the dark ~ you don’t know who your target is or what kind of marketing messages would be appealing to them.

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