3 Things Successful Exhibitors Do Before Every Trade Show
You’re probably thinking, “3 things? Are you kidding me – there are literally a million things that need to be done before every trade show in order to be successful!” We know, and we agree with you, but here – we’ve identified three pretty key things, not to mention overlooked things, so you can keep them top of mind while planning out your 2014 trade show program. For a more comprehensive planning list for trade show success, check out our Trade Show Planning Timeline. Here’s what we think you should take a closer look at before your next show:
What happens when you load the front of your booth with tchotchkes or candy? Attendees swarm your space and take all of your freebies. Can you blame them? Who doesn’t love free stuff? The problem is that A. these people probably have no invested interest in you or what you do (they’re unqualified), and B. they’re taking up space in your booth and blocking your marketing messages so that people who might actually be qualified never see you and in turn walk right by you. Translation: lost and missed opportunities = not good. So your giveaways need to be smart, and can be used to your advantage.
Instead of ordering 5,000 key chains during the next online sale, you need to really think about what incentives you can give to get prospects and qualified attendees into your booth. Offering a special gift when a prospect stops by your booth is an added value for them to come visit you, and it aligns with a pre-show marketing plan because you’re calling, emailing and starting conversations with prospects long before show time. So call your prospect list ahead of time and offer them something special for when they stop by your booth.
Whether or not your company has fully embraced social media yet, social media can still impact your trade show ROI. This goes back to that whole pre-show marketing concept that some exhibitors forget about. The conversations have to start ahead of the show! Drum up excitement, expand your reach and get prospects to your booth in a whole new way. Exhibitors can do this through pre-show, at-show and post-show efforts through contests and giveaways, posts that encourage sharing and liking the content and promotions that encourage your audience to stop by your booth. At the very least, you should be using Twitter hashtags during the show, and leveraging the platform that most shows provide, the trade show hashtag.
Okay, this one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many exhibitors seem to struggle with their banner stands or pop-up displays on the showroom floor. Displays that might have taken 10-20 minutes to set up are taking exhibitors double, sometimes triple that, eek! Taking that thirty minutes or hour before the actual show will save you time when it really matters.
Not to mention, that feeling stressed and pressed for time might have you handling your display improperly or roughly which can have its own set of consequences. Speaking of trade show floor fires, did you know you can put them out (mostly) by utilizing an exhibiting emergency kit? Keep these common items in a bag and take them with you to the show. The prepared exhibitor is a successful one!
1. When preparing for your trade show make sure you’re doing the following three things before every show to ensure success: incentivize strategically, maximize your social media and practice with your booth.