The actions you take long before a trade show is scheduled will determine how successful you are at the show. My years of trade show marketing experience proves that you must proactively take pre-show measures to ensure your goals are met. Today, I’m going to give you three powerful ideas that you should put into action before your next trade show.

Start Planting The Seed

If you’re like me, you contact your customers through a number of different marketing channels. After all, you need to keep your name in front of your audience as much as possible. When a trade show looms, use these channels to tell your customers about it. Start planting the seed two months before the show.

A large part of my success at trade shows comes from my pre-show marketing efforts. I contact my customers and leads over the phone or with emails, flyers and newsletters. I do this to motivate them to visit my booths. My coaching clients do the same and their trade show results are predictably good. Start early and plant the seed.

Create A Trade Show Section On Your Website

My websites attract customers and leads every single day. Your customers are likely visiting your website regularly, too. You need to leverage that interaction by creating a trade show section on your website. This is a powerful way you can build early momentum for the show. Motivate your website’s visitors to visit your booth.

List the trade shows you plan to attend throughout the year. Include easy-to-follow directions to your booth for the next show. Here’s another potent idea that I give my coaching clients: include a form on your website that lets your customers make an appointment to meet you at the show.

Organize A Pre-Show Giveaway

Before the trade show, create some excitement for your customers. You want to get them excited to visit your booth. I’ve done this successfully by holding contests four weeks before the show. First, I’ll plan a giveaway that grabs attention. Then, I start letting my customers know about the contest in the emails and newsletters I send them. Winning is easy. They simply need to register. The winners have to visit my booth to claim their prize.

One way of doing this is to use Scratch Cards. Mail these cards to your customers 4 weeks before the trade show. Instead of showing prizes under the scratch-off surface, display numbers that represent certain prizes such as trips, products, and advertising specialties. In order for your customers to see what they’ve won, they have to visit your booth at the event. I’ve used Scratch Cards over and over to draw people to my trade show booths.

This is another secret to my trade show success. These contests build anticipation and excitement while encouraging my audience to participate. The closer the trade show gets, the more excitement my contests generate.

Hit The Ground Running

If you put the above ideas into action, the buzz you’ll create around your trade show booths will surprise you. I’ve strongly encouraged my clients to do this and they’re seeing fantastic results.

Start planting the seed two months ahead of time. Use several channels (phone, email, etc.). As they converge, you’ll build momentum. Also, create a section on your website that lists the trade shows you’ll attend and directions to your booth. Finally, provoke some excitement by holding pre-show giveaway contests 4 weeks in advance. This is a surefire formula for hitting the ground running!