Gearing Up for 2014 Trade Show Season

Are you ready for trade show season? If your company is planning to participate in upcoming winter and spring trade shows, now is the time to focus your marketing efforts and increase the success of your exhibit.

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), trade show attendance has steadily increased since 2009 and is forecasted to continue to grow through 2015. Additionally, a reported 81% of trade show attendees have purchasing power for their company. This means that four out of every five people walking the trade show floor are potential customers for you, making your trade show exhibit an extremely valuable tool to gain new business.

Additionally, CEIR has reported that 99% of marketers say they have found unique value from trade shows that they do not get from other marketing mediums. In order to take advantage of the unique benefits of trade shows, it’s important to develop a strategy for your exhibit. These tips will help you maximize your trade show marketing efforts and increase your reach with new and potential customers.

Create an exhibit that is welcoming and attractive

  • Use bright colors and bold designs to draw attention from attendees and stand apart from your neighbors. Be sure that your branding and messaging are clear so that guests walking the show floor can easily read your displays.
  • Make your space inviting by keeping the area open and walkable. Your area should be conducive to networking, so avoid using a table or barrier that separates staff members from visitors.
  • Provide visually interesting and informative materials. Your collateral should be useful and unique, with clear and concise messaging. Always offer electronic copies as well, for attendees who don’t wish to collect printed materials.
  • Keep your brand presence cohesive throughout your exhibit. Coordinate all materials to match your branding, including displays, collateral, apparel, and promotional items.

Give promotional products that are memorable and useful

  • It is important to offer a product that is clever and valuable to your target audience. Research from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) shows that 81% of people will keep a promotional item for its practicality.
  • Provide distinctive or playful items that recipients can use while walking the show floor. This will draw attention to your brand and drive more traffic to your booth as other show attendees take notice.
  • Run a contest and accessorize the prize with branded items. Custom printed iPad/tablet cases, speakers, headphones, apparel, and tote bags are excellent additions or stand-alone prizes.
  • Offer the opportunity for more qualified leads to receive an additional, higher-end product after they attend a one-on-one meeting or visit your office. Branded golf clubs, Bluetooth speakers, and emergency cell phone chargers are some potential options that have been very successful.

Market your presence before, during, and after the show

  • Send a direct mail piece or email to your current clients and leads, informing them about the trade show and giving your booth number. Customized mailers can add a more personal touch.
  • Use social media to engage your target audience and create a buzz before the trade show. Join the conversation that is already taking place by using the event’s hashtag and interacting with other companies and attendees.
  • Create a unique, mobile-friendly landing page to provide important details about the trade show to your customers and potential leads. After the show, update the page with useful materials, including follow-up contact information and relevant white papers or blog posts.
  • Capitalize on any potential leads by following up very shortly after the show ends with a personalized email campaign or mailer. Make sure to provide helpful information like digital collateral or white papers in your follow-up.

Now that you know how to amplify your trade show marketing efforts, Millennium Marketing Solutions can help you every step of the way. Our skilled marketing consultants can assist you with all of your trade show needs, including displays, promotional products, print materials, and digital marketing. Attend our upcoming 2014 Trade Show Lunch Seminar to learn more about effectively promoting your business with wise marketing and creative ideas.