B2B and many B2C marketers and brands continue to rate in-person events as one of their most effective tactics. However, a solid strategy is required to get the best return on the investment,
Without a clear and concise marketing strategy that takes into consideration pre, during and post-show activities, you’re bound to come home wondering whether your time and money were worth it. Here are 6 tips to boost your pre-trade show marketing strategy.
1. Plan well in Advance
Most times, companies select the trade shows they’ll be attending far in advance, especially when there are registration deadlines. However, too many times they’ll register and then just forget about it until last minute. Others might just do both things last minute, even worse.
Either way, to do trade shows right, it’s imperative to plan as far in advance as possible. Make it part of your overall marketing strategy to carefully select the trade shows that best fit your goals (discussed next) and then plan a marketing campaign that is specific to each trade show.
This will require setting budgets, timeframes, staff, communication channels, and other resources that’ll ensure you get the most out of the experience.
2. Determine Your Goals now
Generating buzz? Raising awareness? Launching a new product or service? Reaching a sales target? Generating leads? Capture contacts? What are you looking to accomplish at the tradeshow?
Whatever your goals are, you have to make sure they contribute to your overall marketing and sales strategies/goals. Why? Because everything you do related to the show should connect back to accomplishing your objectives, both for the event itself and for your brand in general.
Don’t forget to make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
3. Spread the Word
Start generating buzz as soon as possible. Some of the ways to do this include:
• Host a webinar as a countdown to the show
• Post on social media
• Email your contacts
• Publish blog posts
These tactics can cover subjects related to the trade show like:
• Speakers not to miss
• Sessions to attend
• Breakout sessions that employees are leading
• What you’re featuring at the show
• Other important event info
You can also personally invite prospects and customers to meet you at the event. Give them a good reason to come to your booth and entice them with a pre-show promo product that gives them access to some sort of promotion, free consultation, etc.
4. Develop an Engagement Plan
While good engagement should be part of the event itself by having staff that actively participate, start your engagement before the actual show.
Contests, promotions, giveaways and other creative methods are bound to attract people to the show. But make sure these tactics are more than just marketing gimmicks. Give them careful thought and consideration so they reach the right people with the right item so you can generate legitimate conversations and leads.
5. Set Up Appointments in Advance
Make room for everyone who is important to your company. Don’t just schedule appointments with new leads or prospects. Also, invest some time into keeping in touch with current customers and other people who are influential to your business.
There’s bound to be some downtime during the show. Make the most of it and spend it wisely by scheduling meetings, talks, and other activities during low traffic hours.
6. Establish a Clear Call to Action
While calls to action during the show are important, design a solid call to action strategy for your marketing efforts before the trade show. CTAs will help you track your success, create more buzz, and attract better leads to the actual trade show.
A couple of CTA tactics are:
• Set up a landing page to promote your booth and encourage people to visit and download information.
• Run a contest and encourage your audience to enter to win.
• Create a hashtag for use on social media and encourage people to use it.
Ready to Get to the Show?
Trade shows are one of the best tools to promote your brand and grow your business. You know that. But to get a healthy ROI, you need a well-built strategy. Our experts are eager to help you get the most out of this process, so click here to visit our all-things Trade-show page where you can all the tools, concepts and ideas you’ll need to excel at your next event.