Many people carve out the block of time on their calendars and identify it with two key words: “Trade show.” Unfortunately, once the show is over, many people wish that they had done more to make the trade show a success. It’s called a return on investment, and a trade show investment can be considerable when you factor in staff time, displays, transportation, swag and the cost of the trade show booth itself.
Trade show success doesn’t necessarily come easily, but there are six primary reasons why some people achieve success while others falter. Trade show success takes time and energy – and these are investments worth making to ensure that you generate plenty of qualified leads, raise your industry profile and forge important, new relationships.
Make your presence known through pre-show marketing
Just as you issue invitations to a party you want people to attend, you should inform the people on your trade show “guest list” that you will be appearing at a trade show. Capitalize on your professional and personal contacts by encouraging each person to bring a guest – and then show your gratitude to them with a meaningful token of appreciation.
Remind people of your presence through post-show marketing
Follow-up is vital to trade shows, it could easily spell the difference between disaster and fortune. Take no more than two business days to send a thank-you’s to your trade show visitors and offer a trade show promotional offer, with an expiration date. Tackle these first two tasks together; both contact lists should eventually work in unison.
Volunteer to be a guest speaker at the show
Plan ahead; many trade shows book speakers a year in advance. Yet don’t be daunted by a full schedule. Speakers often opt out and you can be in prime position to step in. Keep in touch with the show organizers about schedule changes and, if you can’t put yourself front and center, suggest a panel discussion on a timely industry topic.
Think outside the box and assign only your most dynamic and knowledgeable people to work the booth
They may not include the chief operating officer or marketing director, either. Think about who on your team is skilled at both making quick personal connections and explaining the nuances of your business with enthusiasm.
Create a regular schedule of events at your booth
Make your booth a place of energy and activity with informational presentations, special appearances or helpful demonstrations. Post the schedule for everyone to see to keep people watching – and returning to your booth.
Take the time to “walk the show”
This is one of the best ways to foster future business from a trade show: by forging strategic alliances with people who are eager to refer business they cannot undertake themselves to someone they know. Partnerships rule.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: The Top 6 Reasons That Drive Trade Show Success
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