Marketing to the 360th Degree: Trade Show Marketing in the Digital Age

Are you looking for a new approach to marketing? Millennium Marketing Solution’s team of experts believe that a multi-faceted marketing plan will help you achieve your 2018 business goals. For 30 years, we have helped our clients successfully grow their business with new ideas and proven marketing methods. We want to share with you what we have seen work. Follow along this year as we provide you with our multi-installment marketing series: Marketing to the 360th Degree. We will touch on industry topics that include digital marketing, strategy, design, printing, promotional products, trade shows, social media, and branding. We are kicking off our first installment by focusing on trade show marketing.

It’s about the big picture!

Trade shows aren’t just about the booth, they’re about the total experience. From pre-show marketing, and promotional products, to signs and collateral, to social media: all these components are necessary to create a memorable experience for your attendees and get the most return on your investment.

Aside from just thinking about how your booth is going to look, you should consider all aspects of pre, during, and after show marketing, including a digital marketing plan. Technologies are quickly evolving, and they have cemented themselves in the trade show landscape. According to studies, 82% of surveyed marketers said trade shows generate “good” or “excellent” quality leads, and digital technology plays a large part in this. Trade show organizers can track attendee interests at detailed levels and organize promotions based on those interests.

At Millennium, we’re trade show experts! We know what it takes to have a successful event. It takes more than just one tactic – you need a complete strategy.

Pre-Show Marketing: Getting your audience excited about the show!

Pre-show marketing is a great way to raise awareness about your attendance at a show, but remember, it is about quality, not quantity. It’s important to compile a list of prospects; this can include registered attendees, a rented targeted list, and/or your own prospects. Send out an invitation to these prospects inviting them to visit your booth for a personal gift, a demonstration, or a meet and greet. Make it fun! As an example, send prospects a key so that when they arrive at your booth, they have a chance to open a treasure chest with a prize—uniqueness and personality are really important!

You can achieve the same effect with an E-invite. Send it out to your client list letting them know the exciting news that your company will be attending a trade show! Another example is to include a combination code on the E-invite inviting them to stop by your booth and use the code for a chance to win prizes. Putting this extra effort in before the show really pays off in the end.

Social Media: Interact in real time!

Social media is a great tool to use in every stage of the trade show process! Post on your business’ social media platforms about your event and include details like your booth number and what you will be doing during the show. Boost posts or run campaigns to targeted audiences based on things like where they work or interests. Invite them to interact with the posts before the event. It’s a great way to gauge how your business will be received even before the show! Social media remains an important tool during and even after the show. Encourage booth visitors to tag you, check-in, or “like” a post for a chance to win special gifts and prizes. Your business should also be posting pictures, updates, and responding to interactions that happen during the show such as check-ins and tagged photos from attendees. Post pictures after the event and thank everyone who stopped by. Your customers will appreciate the recognition!

Handouts and Printed Collateral: Sell Your Products with Creative Collateral!

It’s important for your visitors to walk away with something tangible that contains information about your business. It’s your chance to effectively promote your products and services. Handouts should be branded, engaging, and informative. It’s great to have the collateral tie into the promotional products, the trade show graphics, the pre-show invites, the logo on your social media platforms…you get it. Brochures, rack cards, and postcards are all great options to use! They can be easily customized to match the branding of your company and they are relatively inexpensive, yet incredibly effective.

Promotional Products: Make a Lasting Impression with Your Brand!

This is probably one of the first things that attendees think about when they hear the words “trade show” and for good reason! Promotional products are hugely effective in drawing attention to your brand and also help create a lasting impression. According to studies, 83% of consumers like receiving promotional products with an advertising message from businesses. Take advantage of what your customers want by engaging them with useful gifts that are branded with your information. It’s very important to focus on handing out items that consumers find a use for. According to studies, 77% of consumers report that useful is their number one reason for keeping an item and that’s great news for you because it means that useful items continue to gain impressions month after month, year after year.

Graphics and Hardware: They Matter!

This is a huge area to focus on when at any trade show and should be one of the first things considered when planning. Hardware and graphics communicate your brand and its message and should showcase your products and services well. It’s the first impression, so it needs to communicate clearly and concisely.

With a wide variety of trade show displays and booth designs, our team can create an impressive presence for your next trade show. Choose from a variety of options with stunning, full-color graphics that are lightweight and easily portable. We can meet every deadline and budget, whether you have a small space and need a simple table set-up or a huge area to fill with materials.

Pro Tip Callout: Interactive displays with videos or graphics offer the unique benefit of allowing businesses to promote different products at different shows while also displaying bold, saturated color that easily stands out. This can be a highly cost-effective option for companies who change their products frequently.

Your Event is Over, Now What?

Over 79% of leads are never followed up. Something as simple as a “Thank You” note will significantly increase your return on investment. Turn the leads that you gathered at your event into new customers. Follow up with them after the event with a personal letter, email, or a phone call. Also, add them to your email list and invite them to follow you on Social Media. Keep them engaged with you and your brand so that they remember you.

Pro Tip Callout: Make sure to carry personalized touches from start to finish. Follow up with a “Thank You” card, or a “Thank You” email recapping the show highlights and reminding customers about your products. It’s a nice way to make another touch point and customers will appreciate the extra attention to detail.

Let’s Get to Work!

There are so many factors that contribute to a great show and we’ve only scratched the surface. To recap, let’s touch on the main point that a successful trade show is not just doing one of these things well, it’s getting them all done well! Your approach should be creative, engaging, and complete in order to get the results you are looking for. Focus on planning early for any collateral items you may need, get the buzz going on social, and remain involved in the process even after the show has ended. We have the information you need to take your trade show game to the 360th degree! Interested in learning more? Contact us today and find out how we can help you develop successful trade shows.