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How to Maximize Your Trade Show Presence

Trade shows are a great venue to showcase your company and highlight key products and offerings. It’s no surprise, then, that according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2018 B2B Content Marketing Survey, 56% of respondents find in-person events very valuable. It’s your chance to get in front of customers, prospects and key stakeholders, so it’s important to make the most of it! Here at Outlook Marketing, we have a lot of experience supporting our clients at events, both through in-booth activities and opportunities throughout the conference and trade show floor. From HIMSS to DesignCon to CES, we’ve learned the ins and outs over the years and know that effective preparation is the most important step to ensure you maximize your time and dollars. Below is the marketing checklist to follow.

  • Get the media list. This is the Holy Grail. As an exhibitor, you have access to show perks, one being the attending media list. You will want to get this as soon as possible to make calls and send e-mails inviting key media contacts to meet with your company at the show.

The goal is to get the editors attention early and fast! You are one of many trying to get the same editor’s attention for your client. In addition, think about the usual suspects – media outlets you regularly work with for that client – and reach out to ask if they are attending. Remember: results, results, results! Media is a key measurement for trade show success.

  • Take advantage of promotional opportunities. As an exhibitor there are usually a lot of FREE promotional opportunities to expose your client or business. Show dailies. Product news round-ups. Key publications will be writing pre-show coverage – get in ‘em!
  • Lead with a charge: ensure your communication plan is in order. Get your e-mail campaign out early and continue post-show. Think about the customer contacts you have established. Send a note letting them know that you will be at the show with information on what you will highlight. Entice them to your booth. And remember post-show “thank you” e-mails. Let your contacts know you appreciate their time and make a good impression on all of those new leads you just made!
  • Craft a strong message. Ideally, you’ll want to get your press release out a few weeks before the show, but that doesn’t always happen especially in the B2B space. Demos are still being flushed out. Tooling products are still in the works. Perfection is in the process and usually comes down to the wire. So you’ll want your press release to deliver a strong message. Be consistent with the marketing message you’ve distributed pre-show, but give your press release something different to stand on. If you can’t get your release out early, it is typical for many companies to send out a press release the first day of a trade show.
  • Be Social. A strategic pre-, during and post-show social media campaign is a smart way to get noticed. Follow the influencers – editors, analysts, bloggers, etc. Post and tweet industry trends – show your audience you have your finger on the pulse. Highlight how your company is moving the needle and why they are an important player in a specific industry. Write a blog for your company’s blog site and then share via social. Start the digital conversation.
  • Keep the momentum going. The post-show momentum is just as valuable as all that precedes it. You don’t want to lose the traction you have built. There are customers and prospects to follow-up with and thank. The market and industry are still churning out news and so should you. Think: post-show blog(s), continued social presence, post-show editorial round-ups – and continue to leverage the conversations you had with the editors that you met.

 

What do you feel is the most critical part of planning for your trades how? Let us know in the comment section below or reach out via our TwitterFacebook or LinkedIn!

 

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Author: Erin McMahon, Senior Account Manager, Outlook Marketing Services

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Emily Says :
    Posted on September 7, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Completely agree! NIce article Erin! I also think that having good networking during the event having some sort of social media presence (live streaming maybe?) is a great bonus right?

    • Suzy Smith
      Posted on September 14, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Emily! You’re absolutely right! A networking event is a great way to capture some photos for use on social and on your website. And live streaming or even live coverage of an event for social channels is a great way to bring the event to your followers.

  2. expo advice Says :
    Posted on January 15, 2019 at 8:09 am

    hello erin., some items in follow i think will useful too i isse:

    Practical Tips For Trade Fair Selection
    According to the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), companies should consider the following points during their trade fair selection process:
    1. Focus on those global exhibitions offered in the industry sector that are appropriate for your company.
    2. Consider the price of exhibiting at the fair: i.e. what is the price per m2?
    3. Evaluate these exhibitions according to their importance within that sector, as well as their local, national, or international appeal. For example, how long have they been established?
    4. What are the statistics related to the last event: a) Number of visitors (national and foreign); b) Types of visitors (professional or general visitors? from which countries? of which decision level?); c) Number of exhibitors (national and foreign); d) Presence of Country Pavilions, e) Net exhibition area rented to exhibitors (national and foreign); f) Have these figures been audited? g) What were the results of the visitors’ or exhibitors’ satisfaction surveys carried out after the last event?
    5. Are there additional meetings or conferences hosted during the fair?
    6. If your competitors are exhibiting in these events, it may be a good indicator that you should consider exhibiting.
    7. Carefully review the audience demographics (the published metrics or data about the visitors, exhibitors, press, VIPs, etc.). The exhibition visitor profile should offer your company a good potential for making sales or gathering sales leads. Do your customers attend the exhibition?
    8. If your focus is on company branding, these visitor metrics should help you determine if there is an opportunity to achieve this.
    9. Be sure that the company organising the exhibition has a good financial reputation. Find out how long they have been in business.
    10. The total geographical area served by the exhibition should match your marketing needs.
    11. The facility where the exhibition will be held should be evaluated, particularly for its technology offerings.
    12. Evaluate the city where the exhibition will be held – are there good hotels nearby? What about entertainment opportunities for meeting with your current customers?
    13. Consider accessibility to the exhibition by air, rail, auto, since this will affect attendance. Are there other transportation options available?
    14. Evaluate the support services offered at the exhibition. For example, translation services are usually required.
    15. Finally, the time of year the exhibition will be held and political considerations can be important factors.

    more accessible on DIGI SILK ROAD Blog https://www.digisilkroad.com/en/blog

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