6 Tips to Boost Your Pre-Trade Show Marketing Strategy

6 Tips to Boost Your Pre-Trade Show Marketing Strategy

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.

pre-trade show marketing tips

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?

pre-trade show marketing strategy

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

Pre-trade show marketing tips

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.

marketing outside the box at trade shows

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.

Pre-trade show marketing tactics

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.

pre-trade show marketing tactics 2

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.

Tradeshow Preparation Secrets

Tradeshow Preparation Secrets

Perhaps you have put on trade shows before, but gave up on them because they didn’t yield the results you expected. Or maybe this is your first time organising a tradeshow and aren’t sure where to start. No matter your situation, we want to reassure you that trade shows are absolutely worth the time and effort, if done right. They are an effective way to spread the word about your services, gain brand recognition, and ultimately grow your business.

Nonetheless, behind every successful trade show is a ton of organisation and preparation. We understand that planning a trade show can be overwhelming, and this is why we have created a trade show checklist for you. By following this list, you are sure to be ahead of the game before, during, and after your show.

What are you waiting for? Start planning now with the help of the following tips:

tradeshow preparation checklist

1. Create a realistic budget.

2. Book your hotel accommodations and arrange travel plans. The earlier the better!

3. Prepare your booth and products.

A solid trade show checklist starts with deciding on booth size, messaging, imagery, and decorations. Make sure your booth is well labeled and eye-catching to visitors walking by. Make sure you have enough brochures, business cards, and promotional products to give out to leads.

12 commandments of tradeshow and exhibitions

4. Decide on promotional products.

Tradeshow visitors are more likely to visit your booth if you are giving out a product, and are 80% likely to keep that promotional product for over a year. Make sure your promotional product strategically combines creativity, brand messaging, and usefulness to have the greatest impact on your booth visitors; turning prospects into leads.

5. Hire staff.

Trade show visitors are not likely to wait in line to talk to your company, make sure you have enough staff on-site to chat with booth visitors!

6. Thoroughly prepare your staff.

Practice, practice practice! Know what messages and language you want your staff to use when they’re chatting to booth visitors; make sure they’re prepared to convey your company’s message effectively.

 tradeshow checklist preparation secrets

1. Avoid generic questions, such as: “Can I help you?” and “Are you enjoying the show?”

Remember that you want to stand out.

2. Be chatty

Be the friendliest you can – waiting in line for the bathroom, buffet, seminars, etc. You never know whom you might be standing next to.

3. Network with your competitors.

Have a set schedule of times of when you are working the booth and when you are able to walk the floor.

4. Collect business cards.

tradeshow preparation checklist

Always follow up!

Only 50% of exhibitors will follow up with the people who visited their booths, if you are not, your competitors will be. Every single person you speak with should receive a follow up within 24-48 hours.

Here is a checklist of how you should go about following up to make sure your company message effectively resonates with booth visitors:

1. Select follow up channels

Online, email, telephone, direct mail, and face-to-face. The channels selected will depend on the individual and how they prefer to communicate.

2. Create a schedule

3. Check availability

Look at your availability over the next 2 weeks following the event and decide when you are able to dedicate time to contacting leads.

4. Decide the priority of each person

(1st is hot lead, 2nd is warm lead, 3rd in cool lead, 4th is not lead). Here are some examples of ways to reach out:

Hot leads – send a handwritten card or text message first couple days after the event, then later a LinkedIn Connection, and a couple days after that a promotional product and a coffee invite.

Warm leads – these are the most often miscategorised leads, so make sure to have a follow-up call to qualify them and which also makes a personal connection.

Cold leads – send a FAQ email, video message, or recap article a few days following the event, then a week later make a telephone call.

5. Make a calendar of how you will reach each person and the message you will send.

6. Execute plan.

7. Say thank you.

Remember to say thank you to the parties who helped make your trade show a success. This includes:

Key vendors – LinkedIn recommendation, email, tweet, etc.

Booth staff – handwritten card

Your spouse – flowers, handwritten card, etc.

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Download here your pre, during and post Trade show checklist.