Archive for June, 2017

Practical and Fun Ways to Gather Leads during a Trade Show

After you’ve come up with the perfect trade show exhibit and have worked with your team to create a trade show planning model, it’s time to figure out how to get leads at the event. After all, the main purpose of attending the trade show is to meet interested attendees who will turn into long-term customers. Here are a few fun and practical ways to get the leads you need to make the trade show worthwhile for your business.

Raffles and Drawings

At your trade show exhibit, hold a raffle or drawing. Attendees can only enter the drawing by providing their contact information. Offer an attractive prize for those who win the raffle, such as a bag filled with samples of your products, a coupon for future services, or several trial-sized products and discounts from your company and the businesses you’ve partnered with. Be sure to feature the winners on your social media pages, which will encourage these leads to do business with you in the future. This may also motivate other social media followers to attend upcoming trade shows.

Live Streaming

Live streaming should be an integral part of your trade show planning. This feature lets people who can’t attend the show know what’s going on and adds an element of excitement to the event. During the event, you can encourage people to leave their contact info so that you can get in touch with them after the trade show to update them on your products. Live streaming also gives you the opportunity to show off your trade show exhibit and let people see others trying out your products in real time. This is a way to show that your business has quality products, as well as ask for leads without it seeming too much like a sales pitch.

Mobile Technology

There are also other forms of technology you can use to gather leads. Set up a tablet that allows attendees to input their information easily at your trade show exhibit. This is often easier than having attendees fill out their information manually and gives you another chance to showcase your logo and social media handles. You can also remind attendees of the raffle on the tablet, which may motivate them to both enter their contact details and come back to your booth often during the trade show.

Trade Show Exhibit Design

The way your trade show exhibit is set up can also help you gather leads. If your booth is made from quality materials and you’ve decorated your space in a way that is both professional and artistic, attendees will likely want to know more about your company. Your logo should be clearly displayed, and all your marketing materials should be displayed neatly. If you have a raffle wheel or a large replica of your product, position this close to your table and out of the way of attendee traffic. You can even add an area rug or banner to your exhibit to make it more visually appealing. Remember not to clutter your space but provide enough colorful items to grab attention. When your booth is attractive, you’re more likely to interact with people who want to know more about what you have to offer.

Creative Ways to Follow up With Leads after the Trade Show

After you’ve had a successful trade show experience, your team will need to come up with creative trade show ideas to follow up with your leads and hopefully turn them into long-term customers. Remember that your trade show exhibit displays are only part of your marketing scheme. After attendees are attracted to your professional and colorful display, you’ll need to wow them with your customer service and educated responses about your services and products. Most importantly, after the trade show is over, you’ll want to make sure these customers remember you, want to do business with you, and are willing to tell others about your company. Here are a few ways you can make this happen.

Time Is of the Essence

It’s important to follow up with trade show leads soon after the show. Don’t wait weeks or months to reach out to the people who showed interest in your company. They may forget about your business and lose interest. Be sure to thank attendees for coming to your booth and taking time to learn about your services and products. Invite leads to take a look at your website and interact with you on social media to keep them aware of any new developments or product offerings from your business.

Social Media Is Important

You can also follow up with leads on social media. This is most effective when you encourage attendees to follow you on social media while at the trade show. You may also acquire leads by live streaming the trade show so that people who can’t attend in person can learn about your company and access your social media page for more information. Set up a schedule with your marketing team to respond to messages and comments, so that your leads will know that you’re receiving their input and value what they have to say. You can even ask followers for trade show ideas that you may be able to incorporate into your next marketing event. When customers feel that they have a hand in making your company a success, they are more likely to become loyal consumers.

Customer Service Is Crucial

Following up with the people you’ve come in contact with during the trade show is a matter of customer service. After showing your appreciation, let leads know that you and your team are available to answer any questions they may have before, during and after the purchasing process.

As part of your customer service, you can email coupons and discount offers to your leads. Let them know that this is your way of saying thank you, and encourage them to keep doing business with you by offering other incentives for loyal clients. It can also be helpful to let leads know about projects you’re working on in the community. This gives the impression that you’re focused on using your professional skills to benefit those around you.

Feedback is Essential

You can also use feedback to follow up with leads. After encouraging each trade show attendee to follow you on social media, show a few pictures of your trade show exhibit display and ask followers how you can improve it. Offer prizes or incentives for the follower who offers the most constructive feedback, and take some time to cross promote if the follower has a company or product they are trying to promote. Being active online and not being afraid of criticism shows that your company is always open to growing and learning, which could lead to more customers.

Advertising for an Upcoming Trade Show

Once you’ve decided to attend a trade show, you’ll need to start marketing the event effectively. This means determining who would be interested in the trade show and coming up with innovative and fun trade show ideas that will make people look forward to attending. You and your team will also need to come up with a one-of-a-kind trade show exhibit so you can start marketing some of its features to the public. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Update Your Website

Make sure your website is current and includes all pertinent information about your company. If you have new services and products that have just become available, be sure to showcase these. List all the information about the upcoming trade show on your site, so that customers know the date and time that you’ll be attending. You can also inform clients if you’ll be short-staffed during this time and invite them to log into the trade show website to get more information. Your website is also a good place to list any marketing events or trade shows you’ve attended in the past so that customers can see how active you’ve been in your field.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Keep your social media pages up to date and share your new trade show ideas with your followers. Announce the information about the trade show and see how many followers will be attending. You can also live stream the show to give those who can’t attend a look at your trade show exhibit to see how you interact with attendees in real time. You can also encourage followers to leave their comments and feedback so you can get ideas for how to improve at the next trade show.

Offer Incentives

Provide incentives for those who attend the show and visit your trade show exhibit. You can provide a discount on future services or put the attendee’s name in a raffle for a large prize. Encourage social media followers and customers to post pictures from the trade show and offer a free prize or discounted item to the followers with the best photos. If your company offers monthly or annual memberships, you can provide a discount on membership for those who attend your marketing presentation at the trade show or provide their contact information for you to follow up with them later.

Feature Your Products

One of the best trade show ideas you can incorporate into your marketing plan is giving customers a preview of your products. Provide a short description of each product on your website or social media pages and ask a team member to record a short product demo. When customers see how your product works, they may be more likely to attend a trade show if it’s in their area. These customers could connect you with brands that you can partner with, and are likely to use word of mouth marketing to let more people know about your company. After each product demo, provide your contact information so that potential clients can easily get in touch with you to get more information.

How to Prepare for an Outdoor Trade Show

Attending a trade show outdoors presents some new challenges that you won’t have to face at a traditional marketing event. This means you and your team will need to be especially prepared. Here are some tips to ensure the outdoor trade show is a success.

Watch Your Inventory

Make sure that you don’t bring a lot of inventory to the outdoor trade show unless you’ve already gotten the impression from customers that they’re ready to buy. Carrying these items outdoors could prove to be a hassle for your team, and if customers aren’t ready to buy, you could be lugging it all back to your office. Remember that trade shows mainly serve the purpose of connecting you with buyers who are willing to partner with your brand, so there’s a good chance that you won’t encounter too many independent consumers who want to purchase from you at the show.

Prepare for the Weather

You and your team should be prepared for the weather if you’ll be displaying your products outside. This means bringing along umbrellas and rain gear or taking along extra hats and jackets in case the temperature drops unexpectedly. Of course, using outerwear with your company logo can serve as another marketing tool. When it comes to your trade show exhibit, use weather-proof materials and bring along an awning to protect your demos and team members from getting wet. If you have to pack up your table at the first sign of bad weather, you may not get the opportunity to interact with professionals who could help move your business forward.

Build the Right Exhibit

Trade show portable booths are likely the best choice for an outdoor trade show. Just make sure that the trade show exhibits are made from durable materials. It’s still important to have a banner or table cover that clearly showcases your logo, and you can incorporate technology into your exhibit as well. Set up a tablet that shows a video demo of your products and services. Even at an outdoor show, you can get attendees involved by taking pictures of them trying out your products, and you can also take photos of the outdoor scenery nearby to pique the interest of social media followers who weren’t able to attend. If you’ve brought along a live mascot, be sure to choose costumes that aren’t too hot since this could be a health hazard if your team member gets overheated.

Don’t Forget to Network

Even though your trade show exhibits are set up outside, don’t forget that you’re still in a professional environment. Send your team members over to other trade show portable booths to interact with other companies and trade contact information with those you feel would make great potential partners in the future. Remember to always behave with the same decorum you would if you were at an indoor trade show. You may make connections that can serve your company well.

Tips for Attending Out-of-Town Trade Shows (custom trade show displays, trade show ideas)

Once you and your team have decided to attend a trade show out of town, it’s time to go into planning mode. You’ll need to design trade show displays that will travel well and come up with trade show ideas that can easily be interpreted in a new market. Of course, you’ll also need to keep some additional factors in mind if the trade show isn’t in your home city. Here are some of the things that can make out-of-town trade shows a success.

Plan Ahead When Booking Rooms

It’s important to book hotel rooms as far in advance as possible to save money. You can also cut some of the costs of traveling if some of your team members are willing to room together. This way you won’t have to book rooms for each employee. Just be sure to ask your team members if they have a preference when it comes to roommates.

Monitor Who Is Booking the Rooms

While it may make sense to have your administrative assistant handle the travel arrangements for you, this will prove to be a hassle if you’re going out of town. Once you arrive at the hotel, the person who booked the rooms will need to be present if the credit card has his/her name on it. Make sure the person booking the hotel rooms will be attending the trade shows so that you can get into your rooms quickly once you arrive. This is especially important if you’re arriving shortly before the trade show begins and need to spend the majority of your time setting up your trade show displays.

Establish Some Rules

You probably don’t want to give your team members curfews or try to regulate what they do after trade show hours. However, make it plain to your employees that it’s important to remain professional at all times. If there’s a bar at the hotel, discourage your team members from spending too much time there and drinking a lot to relieve stress. If the hotel is near the trade show location, chances are other professionals from the companies that are attending the trade show will be staying at the hotel as well. If these individuals see your team members getting drunk and causing a disturbance at the bar, this could damage your company reputation. Remind your employees that they never know who is watching and that questionable photos could end up on social media. Ideally, choose team members to attend the out-of-town trade show who have exhibited sound judgment while working at your local office so that any potential issues can be avoided.

Have Team Meetings

Finally, have short meetings with your employees while out of town to make sure that everyone is comfortable in their roles and knows the proper way to handle trade show displays. Go over the regulations for interacting with customers and allow your team members the opportunity to express their concerns about any issues that may arise or to share new trade show ideas after getting accustomed to the show space. Keeping the lines of communication open, even when you’re in an unfamiliar environment can increase the chances that the trade show experience will be a positive one.