How to Improve Your Current Trade Show Marketing Strategy
Trade shows have been an effective method of B2B marketing for decades, even though 2020 and 2021 saw a decline in attendance due to COVID-19. In this digital age, having the right trade show marketing strategy can help you reach a wider audience, build brand awareness, and increase lead generation.
To create an effective strategy, you need to develop quantifiable goals, research your target audience, and create messaging that helps your audience understand how your offerings can help them resolve some of their most pressing challenges.
And, because your marketing goals and audience needs may change over time, it’s important to reassess your trade show marketing strategy each year to evaluate its overall effectiveness.
In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the elements you should consider during your reevaluation and how to improve these elements.
Your Target Audience
The success of your trade show will depend on how well you have identified and evaluated your target audience. Create several buyer personas that detail the role and buying habits of your target customers.
Next, quantify your targeted trade show audience. Review past trade shows to estimate the number of possible visitors to your booth. This will help you determine your overall marketing budget. Another way to quantify trade show attendance is to ask for previous non-exhibiting attendance data from past events, then analyze that data to determine how many attendees were buyers, distributors, professionals, or executives.
Finally, study your trade show competitors, including each company’s reputation and market sector performance. It doesn’t hurt to consider some of your competitor’s previous and successful marketing strategies and tailor them to fit your unique brand and product line.
Traditional Versus Digital Deliverables
The attention span of many trade show attendees can wane after so many hours. Instead of leaving the convention center with pamphlets, brochures, business cards, and catalogs, prospective clients should leave remembering their experience at your booth.
You can improve your audience’s experience by leveraging interactive technology, including digital apps and virtual or augmented reality tools. Interactive technology can help you tell your brand’s unique story and better showcase your products.
For example, if you have a customizable product, you can showcase your company’s customization abilities by providing trade show attendees with a kiosk that allows them to custom-build a product. This interactive technology will help them understand your company’s capabilities and the options available to them if they choose your product.
It’s also important to re-evaluate your pre-show tasks before any trade show, as all trade shows differ. If you don’t have a pre-show marketing strategy, you need to develop one, as it can help you attract more potential customers.
When developing a pre-show plan, always consider the event’s overall theme and highlight ways to customize your existing display to match the theme.
You’ll also want to launch a social media campaign on major platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to advertise your booth number, any promotional or discounts you’re offering, and the products or info your company will display at the show. Additionally, if you have a mailing list, you should send an email blast to let them know that you’ll be exhibiting. Planning giveaways and other promos can help improve attendance.
Lastly, the thought and effort you put into your post-trade show marketing strategy are critical to improving the return on your investment. When assessing your existing post-show strategy, you’ll want to ensure that following up with attendees is a critical component of it.
If any attendees expressed interest, signed up for your newsletter, or asked for your contact information, always follow up with them.
Personalize your follow-up emails as much as possible, and remind attendees of the products or services they were interested in. Your email should also provide potential customers with a direct call-to-action, like requesting a free consultation or quote.
Remember— this is your opportunity to put your brand front and center. Your goal here is to raise brand awareness, ask for business consideration, and encourage a purchase decision.
Improve Your Trade Show Marketing Strategy With Help From GraphiColor
GraphiColor is an industry-leading grap[ic design company specializing in trade show displays and booths. We can design and build custom displays and booths for customers in all industries and provide trade show marketing, planning, and logistics solutions.
We know how challenging trade show marketing can be—if you’re looking for better solutions, contact us today to request a free consultation.