Charles Beshears is the President of National Trade Show Displays, an online retailer of pop up displays, banner stands and a variety of trade show products.
Tradeshows are a great form of marketing - you’re visible in front of hundreds to thousands of people and your branding and positioning are obvious.
Although they are a great outlet to help boost sales and cushion your public relations efforts, there are certain steps you need to take to help you get the best ROI and experience trade show success.
Step 1: Carefully Consider the Tradeshow
Attending just any or every tradeshow can be detrimental to your sales process. The tradeshow you attend should be:
· Relevant to your product or service
· Include attendees who would be interested in your product or service
· May be attended by competitors (good for research purposes)
You can also get creative with the tradeshows you choose if you feel like your brand can make an impression on an audience. A health and fitness product may also work at a parenting show to help parents get back on track with their fitness goals.
Step 2: Get Into Social Media
These days, most every tradeshow and conference is associated with a hashtag i.e. #BlogHer13. Becoming a part of this conversation is a great way to generate interest with attendees and help boost your social media presence. Since people know you’re there, you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. to let people know where they can find you, be part of your promotion and talk about your products or post about those you’ve connected with.
The blog is also a great place to tout your attendance and success. Use it to post press releases and don’t forget to cross-publish on your company’s LinkedIn page.
Step 3: Prepare Your Team
Attending a tradeshow is one thing, but more important is knowing what you’re going to do when you get there. Practice answering possible questions and fielding negative comments. Public relations works only when your team knows how to work it. Before heading to a tradeshow, be sure to:
· Practice your elevator pitch
· Know the pros and cons of your product
· Practice explaining how your product can be a solution to a variety of problems
· Know how to demonstrate the product
· Understand how to be a better salesperson at your tradeshow booth
Step 4: Design an Appealing Tradeshow Booth
A drab and boring tradeshow display falls in comparison to a visually appealing and attractive display. Shed your brand in the best of light with a pop up display booth. An attractive booth includes a few elements:
· A cohesive color pattern and design
· An interactive feature (where attendees can touch and play with your product)
· An overall theme
· Branded products and information (easy-to-understand and not overwhelming)
· Intriguing and luring content
Step 5: Be Giving!
Whether it’s a generous giveaway that’s easy to enter or a simple, “Thank you for visiting,” parting gift, give out lots of goodies. People always gravitate towards free things. Don’t give out just anything though. Provide trinkets and treats that are relevant to your brand and use this as a place to exercise your creative license. Product samples, branded thumb drives and sun glasses are just a few ideas. You can also hold drawings for larger prizes like a free month of service, a free iPad etc.
When thinking about attending a tradeshow, think like the attendee. Is your product or service relevant to someone attending this tradeshow and will they come to your booth to see what it’s about? If the answer is yes, then start designing your tradeshow booth, pack your things and hit the road. Good luck!
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