Even in the digital age, there is value in meeting customers, clients, and prospects in person, and trade shows offer excellent opportunities. Even with more digital marketing tools available than ever, 30 percent of companies reported plans to increase their trade show marketing budget last year. The only way to get a return on that investment, though, is to have a solid plan going into your trade shows, including a digital marketing plan that will give you all the bang your buck has to offer. Here are three marketing strategies to get the most out of your trade show budget and experience.
Know Before You Go: 3 Trade Show Marketing Tips
- Start the buzz. The work of attending a trade show starts long before the event takes place. The first step of your marketing plan is letting people know you’ll be at the show—and giving them a reason to come see you there. Publish a series of blog posts that provide general information about the show, including sessions that will be available or speakers who will be presenting. Use social media to tease any new products you might be unveiling at your show. Email contacts and invite them to schedule a time to meet with you at the show. You could even create a landing page on your website with information about the trade show schedule and how customers and prospects can find you there.
- Maximize your face time. Once you’re at the trade show, make the most of it! Use social media to promote contests, giveaways, product demos, and new product releases to drive traffic to your booth. You can also use social media, blogging, and emails to highlight other products and events at the trade show that might interest your customers. Schedule meetings with as many existing and prospective clients during the show as you can.
- Keep up the momentum. Trade show efforts should continue even after the booth comes down. If you don’t follow up with contacts you met at the show, you could be leaving new opportunities—and new revenue—on the table. Not every person you meet at a trade show is ready to buy, but you should email everyone who gave you their contact information, thank them for stopping by, and offer them a free download of your trade show presentation or other collateral. Once you’ve gauged their interest, you can decide the best way to continue nurturing them.
Ready to develop your trade show marketing plan? Send us a message to talk about your goals and strategies to meet them.