Archive for November, 2016

Trade Show Marketing Ideas for Beginners

Attending a trade show is one of the best ways to promote your business and expand your client base. When you create the right marketing materials, you’ll feel prepared and ready to greet potential consumers who are interested in learning more about your company. It can be challenging to get customers to stay at your booth for an extended time or get them to express real interest in what you have to offer unless you have the right promotional tools and tactics. Here are a few trade show ideas to keep in mind.

Have an “Inbound” Mindset

Capture the attention of each person who passes by your trade show booth, even if the person didn’t intend to stop by your table. You can do this by making sure your signage is colorful and appealing. The signs around your trade show booth can also give insight into what your company does.

Creating your own app just for the trade show is another great way to attract potential clients. The app can inform people about the products you’re promoting. You can also let those who download the app know which free products or services you’ll be giving away at the show.

Step Up Your Creativity

You’ll likely be at a trade show with other companies that are offering similar services. Use your creativity to stand out. While you can go with traditional means of marketing like encouraging attendees to put their business cards in a fish bowl, this won’t make you memorable. Set up monitors displaying interviews from satisfied customers and engaging and friendly team members. Have a raffle or giveaway and give out tickets so attendees will listen for their ticket number during the day. Set up a photo booth with accessories that include your company logo. Do things that will encourage customers to remember you after the trade show is over. This increases the chances that they will tell others about you as well.

Social Media

You should use social media to your advantage when you want to bring more attention to your trade show booth. A few weeks before the trade show, make sure that you let your social media followers know that the marketing event is coming up. Encourage your followers to interact with you on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to keep them updated on all things connected to the trade show.

It’s also a great idea to live-stream your trade show booth interactions. Conduct short interviews with attendees, and interview your team members explaining the features and benefits of your products. You can also use the live videos to encourage those who are watching online to come to the trade show if they’re in town.

Once you find out the marketing strategies that work best for you, you’ll be much more prepared for your next trade show. Take note of the strategies that were most effective and use them to make trade show displays in the future even more effective.

Video Marketing At Your Next Trade Show

If you’re coming up with a marketing plan that you’ll implement the next time you’re at the trade show booth, you’ve probably included lead generation in your plans. While you can go with the “fishbowl method” (prompting customers to leave their business cards in a fishbowl). At a trade show, it’s easier than normal for you to get leads and possibly turn these leads into customers.

Coming up with new marketing ideas can make your business one to remember at your next trade show. Video marketing is a great way to let more people know about your company and what you have to offer. You can use this marketing tool in a number of interesting ways to make your company significantly more noticeable, which leads to a thriving business.

Use Video to Interview Customers

Trade shows allow you to interact with customers on a face to face basis. When attendees come to your trade show exhibit, conduct a short interview with them to see what they like about your company. Your customers can help to market your business, since you can post the interviews on your blog (with the permission of the attendees). These interviews can also be featured on your YouTube channel to help other potential customers learn more about what you have to offer.

Interview Industry Leaders

Whether you want to discuss trade show ideas or need to know the best trade show exhibit companies that are best for your industry, you should interview leaders in your field. The big names in your industry are surprisingly accessible at trade shows, and the advice or pointers you can receive during interviews can help you improve your marketing efforts. These interviews also make your company more reputable to customers. Of course, industry leader interviews can be posted on your social media pages to draw customers in and encourage them to ask questions about your business.

Live Blogging

You don’t have to wait until the trade show is over before you blog about it. Live blogging can attract more potential customers during the event. Trade shows are often hotspots for Facebook and Twitter, so customers who are unable to attend the trade show will know what’s happening in real time. It’s also a good idea to let your social media followers know that you’ll be live streaming at the trade show to encourage them to tune in.

Record Time-Lapse Video

This is one of the best trade show ideas when you have a product that is colorful and exciting. Time-lapse videos can feature customers trying your products at the trade show booth and short interviews with your team members. This is a great marketing tool that you can post on your website or your social media pages after the show.

Remember that guest bloggers can also bring a new perspective to the trade show event. These bloggers can bring a positive yet objective view, which helps to draw in more consumers. Talk to your team about the best ways to use video to present your business’ products and services so your company is seen as innovative and professional.

What No One Ever Told You About a Trade Show

Now that you’re organizing your exhibit for your trade show or have attended a show or two, you’ve likely learned a few tricks of the trade. You may have noticed that you need more marketing materials or have to make a better effort to interact with customers. You may have also noticed that your trade show booth needs to be larger or smaller. The truth of the matter is that there are certain things that you probably wish you knew before your first trade show.

Here are a few things that no one ever told you about preparing for such a large marketing event.

Trade Shows Are Expensive

Even though it costs a lot to set up a trade show exhibit and attend the event, it’s a great marketing tool. For instance, if you’re going to a trade show for three or four days, you could end up spending about $5,000! However, for this price, you’ll be setting up a booth to greet customers, displaying a banner, giving out postcards and making travel accommodations. These trade shows will also let you know whether the marketing materials are effective, and you can decide the changes you want to make before your next trade show.

Take Advice From Buyers

Many of the buyers who attend trade shows are professional retail sellers. They know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to products that sell. If you have the chance to talk to buyers, make sure you’re open to their advice and constructive criticism. Don’t take the feedback personally and realize that you’re getting professional advice when you’re getting information on how to make your product more appealing to customers. Take advice from the people who will become clients and use this info to improve for your next trade show.

Several Types of Attendees Will Be There

Buyers aren’t the only ones coming to trade shows. You’ll also encounter product developers and business consultants who will be checking out your trade show exhibit. If you’re looking for national distribution, you’ll need to use the trade show to find a rep who can help to move your business forward. Get connected with people who can help promote and work out a favorable arrangement (shared profits, commission) to ensure that everyone is properly compensated.

Networking Is Priority

Agents and buyers are willing to assist you in becoming a more successful company. Use the event to connect with like-minded people who are willing to communicate with you for free. You may be able to trade goods and services or form partnerships that will help to move both of your businesses forward.

Don’t Waste Time With Product Development

Product development is very time-consuming. Every single product you launch isn’t going to be a hit, so make sure you’re in it for the long haul. There are business owners who have been working on one or two products for a decade just to keep their companies from going in the red. While you do want to make sure that the products and services you offer are both appealing and practical, choose items that are already selling well, and add your company’s twist to them. For instance, if you sell tech accessories like cell phone covers, develop your covers so that the material is more durable than competitive brands.

Trade Shows are a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Chances are you’re not going to go home with millions of dollars in sales after your first trade show exhibit. Many companies attend the same trade show between three and five times before leaving with significant profits. Make sure that you’re not spending too much on production so that attending trade shows won’t put you in debt. In many cases, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to trade show marketing.

Keep these suggestions in mind when you’re preparing for an upcoming trade show. Meet with your team to find ways that your company can be more appealing to consumers, and device effective strategies that will make your trade show booth unforgettable.

What You Wish You Knew Before Your Last Trade Show

Now that you’ve attended a trade show or two, you’ve likely learned a few things about what to do, and what not to do the next time you set up a trade show booth. If you’ve made a few mistakes along the way, let it be a learning experience that will make your next trade show exhibit better. From logistics to the people you hire to manning your booth at the trade show, here are a few things you probably wish you knew as you were preparing for your last trade show.

Give Yourself Enough Time

You should give yourself double the time you think you need to set up your trade show exhibit and order materials. For instance, if you think it will take about a week for your trade show supplies to arrive, order the materials two weeks in advance. If you previously started promoting on social media for the trade show two weeks in advance, start the promotion a month before the show. Give yourself ample time to organize everything, because work and life obligations will get in the way and you still want to make sure you meet your deadline. You should also account for the time it will take for you to travel to the trade show venue and put together your exhibit(s) so you’ll be well prepared before customers arrive.

Use Quality Trade Show Displays

When you know the size of your trade show booth, order the graphics and displays for a booth that you already own if possible. This will save you both time and money, and make your exhibit stand out in the best way. Remember that people will form an opinion about your company based on your trade show display. Attendees will be able to tell whether you spent a considerable amount of time and money to make your booth look its best. When potential customers see that you put effort into the trade show, they may be more likely to stop by your booth and ask questions.

Be sure not to crowd your trade show booth with too much materials, but don’t decorate sparsely, either. A full kit that includes a banner stand table throw with display and a banner stand in the back that is around 8ft by 10ft. This ensures that your booth looks full and inviting, but not cluttered.

Acknowledge All Attendees

Don’t simply stay seated as trade show attendees walk by your trade show exhibit. Potential customers like to be noticed, so don’t forget to greet each person who comes by your booth. Don’t start with a sales pitch because you may scare them away. Ask questions to find out what the customer is looking for and listen intently to see how you can meet these needs. Just be yourself and be friendly. Attendees are more likely to become customers when they feel that they can trust you.

Dress Comfortably

Wearing comfortable shoes are a must for the trade show, since you’ll be on your feet for long periods of time. It’s also important to dress in layers, since the trade show venue may be extremely hot or very cold. When you don’t have to worry about discomfort from clothing or shoes, you can focus on engaging with your customers.

Organize Your Leads

A lot of people are going to come to your trade show exhibit. There’s a good chance you won’t remember all their names. If you have the advantage of using a badge scanner, use this to take notes or collect business cards and write a few notes on them. Make sure you write down the products that the customers are interested in so you can send the correct marketing materials. Be as specific as possible when addressing customers to show that you’re paying attention and want to form positive relationships with your clients.

These are just a few of the notes you can take with you to your next trade show to increase the chances that your event is a success. Good luck!

Tips to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

As you’re preparing for your trade show, you may run into some “road blocks” when you’re trying to decorate your trade show booth or appeal to attendees. Since the preparation process can be daunting and you can lose your creative edge, here are some ways to get back on track when it comes to finding some inspiration and presenting your services and products in the best light.

Clean Your Office

Sometimes, you can prepare for a trade show by straightening up a little. Cleaning your office can help you find items that you can use to improve your trade show presentation. Decluttering your office space can also declutter your mind and make it easier for you to think creatively. You’ll be surprised at how fast the trade show ideas start coming once you clean your workspace up a bit.

Take a Walk

If you’ve been spending too much time at the office and can’t come up with any ideas for your custom exhibit displays, it may be time to take a walk. Getting some fresh air and light exercise can help you to think clearly and calm your nervous system. Getting some fresh air is a great way to take some time and think about all the things you’ve accomplished when it comes to putting your trade show exhibit together. You’ll likely return to the office with renewed energy.

Take a Media Break

You can also come up with great ideas for your trade show booth by taking a break from media for a while. Between emailing your team members and vendor partners, making shipping arrangements for your trade show supplies and ensuring you’ve got the right marketing materials, you’ve probably been spending a lot of time online. Take a break from your phone, computer or tablet for a little while to organize your thoughts and lower your stress. When your brain feels less frazzled, you can come up with innovative trade show ideas and present your products in the best light.

Do Something Different

One of the most effective ways to get your creative juices flowing is to change your routine. Chances are you’ve spent weeks coming up with trade show ideas and creating custom exhibit displays. Go to your favorite restaurant for lunch, make some time to go to the gym or have a dinner date with your closest friends. Engage in activities that will prompt you to talk about things that don’t have anything to do with work, so you’ll be motivated to complete your trade show planning when you get back to the office.

Keep these tips in mind next time you can’t quite come up with the right ideas to make your trade show booth stand out. Taking time to get your creative juices flowing will also increase the chances that you’ll interact with trade show attendees in a way that will make them want to know more about your business.