Don’t make these trade show mistakes
You must approach trade shows with focus, determination and with a plan for success. While this may sound easy, it’s surprising how many companies forgo the fundamentals of marketing when planning and producing their trade shows. Conscientious planning for the event involves precise devising, smart promoting, competent lead qualification and impeccable follow up. The level of accomplishment you’ll experience from your trade show is influenced by the amount of energy you put invest…before, during and after the show. Today, I’ll discuss three common oversights trade show marketers are famous for making, and how to avoid them yourself.
Success is not an accident! Accurately identifying your objectives before the show seems simple, right? You want more customers and more sales. How exactly do you plan achieve these things? More importantly, you must determine your definition of “more.” For instance:
More customers = “I want to gain 100 new customers.”
More sales = “I want to sell $1000 more at this trade show than the last.”
Once you’ve finalized your goals, you have to focus on how you’ll achieve them.
“To obtain 100 new customers, I will make sure to introduce myself to at least 10 trade show attendees every hour and obtain their contact information.”
“To sell $1000 more at this years show than last years show, I will hold promotions every hour.”
Mistake Two -: Not generating media attention
In today’s virtual world, not all interested customers are at the show in person. I know many people who despise walking a trade show floor. All the stimulation is just too much for them to handle. Instead, they rely on their favorite industry bloggers to report on what’s happening at the show. These reports are published in the form of blogs all over the internet. Often times, live! In recent years, bloggers have begun to make their presence and importance in the industry very well known. If you look closely through the audience, you’ll notice plenty of attendees with badges that say “Press” or “Media.” So, how do you get their attention? Most importantly, how do you make it in their blog? I talk more about gaining media attention here.
Mistake Three- Following up too late
As we’ve discussed in prior articles, most of your energy should be spent attracting and qualifying new leads. While you may make some sales during the show, the real value in participating in the show is found in the leads you develop while showing. It is immature to believe that your phone will just start ringing day in and day out from all of the business cards you passed out. You absolutely must follow up with every person you meet at the trade show. It’s equally as important that you follow up in a timely manner. If you wait too long, another company will grab their attention or they will lose interest altogether. My personal preferred method for follow ups is to send a “Nice meeting you” or “thank you” card the day after the show closes. Depending on where the card is going in the country, I time a follow up phone call to correspond one day after its arrival.
Trade show marketing can seem overwhelming, but with the right strategy, it all falls into place fairly easily. Think it through and follow through!
About the author: William Hall is a seasoned business coach specializing in branding, social media and promotional events. William has spent his career teaching businesses of all sizes how to stand out in the crowd while using marketing dollars most effectively. His clients are continuously thankful for his out-of-the-box ideas that lead to increased revenue, more clicks and a bigger online presence.