creative tradeshow marketing

Rock your next trade show

A well-defined goal will help maximize your investment in a trade show or conference. Having a booth is one way to benefit from a conference, however even attending, especially as a group, can be a way to help your company gain valuable exposure and create meaningful contacts. Regardless of how you plan to attend, it is important that the entire team agree on the goals long before committing to an event.

Here are some common goals in attending a conference or hosting a booth:

  • Generate new business
  • Connect with current clients
  • Increase product/service awareness
  • Branding
  • Recruiting talent

Your goals will determine your strategy. However, all too often companies look at the list above and reply, “Yes, we want all of that.” This student-of-everything, master-of-nothing approach permeates not only the booth but also the marketing materials and the communication strategy ultimately yielding a splintered message that lacks focus, which in turn, results in little to no measurable success.

The number one tip to a successful trade show experience is to have a well-defined goal and message that supports that goal.

Here are some additional tips to get the most out of your next show:

  1. Less is more. Don’t be tempted to cram lengthy lists of bullets and marketing copy onto your trade show booth. With mere seconds to attract the attention of passers by and a crowded field of shapes, colors and distractions at every angle, clarity of message is of the utmost importance.
  2. Extend the engagement with a strong call to action. Possibly link to event content or material on your website such as a white paper
  3. Stage the booth before you leave. This will help you develop a fool-proof checklist of things that tend to get overlooked like extension cords, chargers, wire management, pens, paper, Advil etc…
  4. Multimedia is a great way to capture attention. Always assume the Internet will be down at one point or another so have a backup plan ready.
  5. Giveaways are a tried and true tool to build awareness. The best giveaways have value in that moment; Water is an excellent choice.
  6. Watch out when shows change location. You may think that because you’re exhibiting at the same show the costs should be the similar to years past, however if the show has moved to a new city or new convention center watch out. Your budget may get thrown a few curve balls.
  7. Location, Location, Location. Do your homework and always ask questions when selecting a booth location, it is important to stay near high-traffic areas. If you can’t afford a larger space, securing a location directly next to a big company will help drive traffic, especially if it is a complimenting business.

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