Trade shows provide marketing professionals with an excellent opportunity to showcase their products and establish relationships with prospective customers, but competing for attention can be challenging when competing against hundreds of other marketers at once.
An effective trade show depends on gathering high-quality attendees. Be sure to bring a business card scanner or some other system for tracking leads so you can effectively follow up.
1. Get Your Brand Out There
Trade shows are all about brand engagement. From hiring an engaging emcee or musical act to hosting an afterparty or creating unique experiences, trade show success lies with brands with clear strategies in place and who come prepared with plans in mind.
Promoting your booth prior to the event is the best way to spark their interest, such as posting about it on social media accounts and notifying followers that you will be present at the show.
Engage with your audience by asking questions or providing useful information, and be sure to follow-up with anyone who shows an interest in your brand.
2. Engage With Your Audience
For your brand to stand out at a trade show, it’s vital to understand what attendees are seeking out – educational experiences, hands-on opportunities and relaxation spaces may all be important factors in their perception of your offering.
Create a contest or giveaway to increase attendee engagement and draw more traffic to your booth. Make sure it ties in well with your company message while being enjoyable for everyone involved!
Mazda created an innovative experience at trade shows by offering visitors the chance to test drive its vehicles – an effective way to engage attendees and generate quality leads while increasing brand recognition.
3. Get Creative With Your Booth
Create an unforgettable trade show experience to distinguish yourself. This can include hosting a contest, adding live acts to your booth or offering immersive product demonstrations.
Distributing freebies is another effective way of drawing attendees in to your booth, so ensure the items bear your brand and allow attendees to personalize it – this will reduce the likelihood that it ends up in the trash can!
Make it easier for attendees to relax during an overstimulated event by providing guided meditation. This approach can especially benefit attendees feeling overstimulation.
4. Offer Attendees Some Swag
Trade shows have earned themselves an esteemed place within every industry over time and participating in them can give your company an edge within its market. Before signing on for any event, however, make sure it suits your company well by visiting and checking if its objectives align with those of your booth space rental agreement.
An element of fun at a trade show booth can make an immediate impression with attendees. While professionalism should always remain your top priority, incorporating some jokes or lighthearted banter can draw guests in and boost energy throughout an event.
Offering attendees branded swag can be an effective marketing tool at your booth. Giving out your logo-ed t-shirt, bag or ball cap will allow them to feel connected to you and encourage future visits.
5. Host an Afterparty
Trade shows can be physically and mentally draining experiences for attendees, so making their visit enjoyable and entertaining should always be the top priority. You could do this by hiring an emcee or musician, creating unique experiences, hosting an afterparty or doing anything else entirely that sparks their interest.
Dyson created an inviting home-like setting at CES to allow visitors to relax and test out its products in their natural settings, further elevating the experience for visitors and making it stand out among competition. Doing this helped build goodwill among audiences which could ultimately increase sales.
6. Add a Showstopper
Attract attention with a photo booth or selfie station; or add entertainment via DJ or band performances.
At ComicCon, Hillshire Farm and Jimmy Dean joined forces to host a sandwich-making competition and professional chef demonstrations, while Lionsgate created an immersive black box experience at their movie’s premiere so attendees could feel as though they were trapped underground.
Trade shows are an invaluable marketing opportunity for businesses of all sizes. Knowing how to grab the attention of attendees at these shows will ensure your brand remains visible and memorable for attendees.