Does Trade Show Marketing Still Work?
Generate buzz, make contacts, sell products and services.
So… Here we are… the Sun is out and people are starting to shop again.
You have one goal in mind, and that’s to get them to shop in your direction. Time to start marketing… What’s a good strategy? How do you get some “business buzz” going?
Well, if you’re looking at ways to get in front of more of your potential clients without spending all the mass media money. An Industry Trade Show is something to think about?
Does trade show marketing still work? The simple answer is Yes, without a doubt!
Participating in a highly regarded industry trade show can be one of the most important marketing moves a business makes. With a well-conceived trade show marketing plan, business managers can generate industry buzz, make important contacts and most importantly sell products and services.
Attracting Trade Show Booth Visitors:
Maximizing booth traffic is the key to a successful trade show experience. More people means more opportunities to increase sales and meet trade show marketing goals. There are several trade show marketing tools that can draw participants to a booth. Remember, attendees spend all day in a convention hall walking from booth to booth. The most important trade show marketing strategy is to stand out among the crowd!
Customized Prize Wheel
It is hard to resist the temptation to spin a colorful prize wheel! A customized prize wheel is one of the most versatile and cost-effective trade show marketing tools that a company can own. Because the wheel can be customized to display any number of prizes, it is the perfect opportunity for a company to showcase their own products and services.
To most effectively take advantage of trade show marketing, attendees should fill out a contact card in exchange for an opportunity to spin the wheel. This often results in hundreds of contacts by the end of a show!
Money Blowing Machine
A trade show marketing tool that will literally stop people in their tracks is the money blowing machine. Envision a telephone booth with dollar bills and coupons swirling around inside. The sight of someone inside the booth madly grabbing all that they can in the allotted time frame is hilarious enough to stop trade show traffic!
As with the prize wheel mentioned above, it is important for a company’s successful trade show marketing plan that participants register for a chance in the money machine. To reduce the number of qualified participants, it is possible to have participants spin the prize wheel for a chance to enter the money blowing machine.
An interesting twist to gain booth publicity and boost trade show marketing results is to schedule a time for industry ‘honchos’ to participate in a cash-grabbing contest. Make sure that everyone knows to come back to the booth at the specified time to watch the spectacle.
When most people attend a trade show, the first thing they think about is all the freebies! Unfortunately, most trade show marketing items seem to be cheap highlighters and flashlights. There are always those lucky couple of booths, however, that seem to be handing out the promotional items that everyone wants.
It is more than luck that brings the masses to these booths. It is effective trade show marketing! The best promotional items are the ones that attendees can actually use while they are at the show.
For example, a canvas bag with a company’s logo printed on the side is the perfect item for attendees to carry around all of those other promotional items they are collecting. Its convenience means that participants will act as moving billboards as they carry the logo all around the convention hall.
Below are some good ideas on how to do trade show marketing:
1. Pre-trade show marketing
Remember, you must let your prospects know where your booth is located on the showroom floor. Use tag lines such as “see us at Booth 1234 at the such and such Trade Show” in news releases and other communications such as direct mail leading up to the show. Simple flyers with pictures of your products with your website, contact details, trade show exhibit booth stand number and call to action such as a trade show promotional product or discount are affordable to print and really valuable for communicating what you are about.
2. Special business cards
Print up a special business card for major shows. Add the show name, logo and dates along with your regular information. Why? People may not remember you, but they will remember they were at the show.
3. Offer a special discount
Remember, special discounts will attract more crowds. Just provide a discount for all orders placed at the show. I have seen offers like 10% off for all orders placed and paid for at the expo. This encourages orders to be placed straight away as well as getting paid immediately – a big bonus. Have a look at what others are doing with discounts and special offers to get ideas on different methods, explore where the money is and what works best for your business as well as your customers.
4. Collect Prospect’s Information
Gather contact details of visitors who are potential customers by running a competition with prizes that your customers want. I run a gift certificate raffle during trade shows where I give away three gift certificates. This way I build my customer list for my email newsletter. So, I get increased sales throughout the year and transform my trade show display booth rental expenses into an investment.
Hopefully you’ve read something useful for your marketing strategy. Next time we’ll dive into 10 Effective Marketing Strategies that Work for Small Business.
What are your thoughts on trade show marketing? Please like, share and comment below.