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Is Cold Calling Still an Effective Way to Market Your Business?

If you’re looking for a way to let people know about your next trade show event, you’re likely working with your team to make sure that your marketing efforts are effective. Technology is such a huge part of the way people do business these days, so your first instinct may be to turn to social media or your website for promotional ideas. However, it may be a good idea to consider cold calling as well. This is a “vintage” form of marketing, and most people nowadays screen their calls, but there are some tactics you can use to make cold calling work for you when it comes to trade-show planning.

One of the first things to remember is that you shouldn’t focus on making a sale during the cold call. This will likely make you too nervous to truly explain what your company is all about, and could turn potential customers off to what you have to offer. Instead, simply let the person on the other end know that you’d love for him or her to attend a trade show to find out more about what you have to offer, and give him or her information about the show (i.e. time, place, date) so he or she can choose whether he or she wants to attend. When you take the pressure off, people won’t feel like they are obligated to buy anything, and this could increase your chances of making a sale.

It’s also important to make sure you’re cold calling the right people. Think about who would be interested in seeing your trade show exhibit. Consider the people who were at your last trade show. What did interested attendees have in common? Make a note of this and contact people who are likely to do business with you. Cold calling too many people who may not buy what you’re selling isn’t the best use of your time and could give you a reputation for simply trying to make a sale without proper planning.

Don’t forget about the other ways you can communicate with customers as well. It’s still a good idea to use social media and your website to your advantage. You can even let followers know you’ll be calling potential customers so people won’t be caught off guard when they get a phone call from you. As always, you should encourage customers and those who follow you on social media to provide their feedback when it comes to your marketing efforts.

Finally, another great aspect of trade-show planning when it comes to cold calling is to include as much information as possible about your business in your call. There will be times when people do not answer the phone, and you need to make sure you leave your social media information and website on the voicemail message so that potential customers know that you’re utilizing several methods for communicating with them. This could make people more likely to visit your trade show exhibit and ask for more information.

Low-Cost Ways to Improve Your Next Exhibit

Once you decide to attend a trade show, you’ll need to know exactly what it takes for your company to be successful at this marketing event. Fortunately, making a great impression doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some trade show ideas you can take advantage of during the preparation process.

Plan Your Day

Plan all the details of the trade show exhibit to make sure that you save money on the marketing event overall. Staff the booth with team members who are the most qualified to talk about your services and products, and choose individuals who are friendly and outgoing. Schedule the times when everyone will take breaks. If there is a feature of your exhibit that you want to showcase at a certain time, such as a raffle or demo, make sure this is on the schedule as well. This will improve the efficiency of your exhibit and will help you improve your trade show experience overall.

Get a New Table Throw

One of the simplest trade show ideas for improving your exhibit is purchasing a new table throw. This item can make a huge difference in the overall look of your display and could make your products and services seem more refined and professional. If your logo or marketing materials have more than one main color, simply use the color that you didn’t use for your previous table throw so that you won’t have to change all of your other marketing materials.

Livestreaming

While this is not one of the trade show ideas that improves your exhibit aesthetically, it can improve your display in terms of helping you to market to more customers. Make sure that the footage includes attendees getting a live demo of your products and commenting on how much they enjoyed visiting your booth. Make sure that the livestreaming video is available on all your social media outlets so that people who aren’t able to attend the show can still see what you have to offer.

Lighting

Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive, and it can do wonders when it comes to showcasing the best parts of your trade show exhibit. Use accent lighting to bring attention to your smaller merchandise. Use larger lights to showcase your trade show signage. You can also use colored lights that coordinate with the colors of your logo and marketing materials to make your trade show booth appear more polished.

Technology

Finally, you may not have to spend any money to add a technological aspect to your next trade show. Include a tablet or laptop at the trade show exhibit so that attendees can watch a virtual product demo or input their contact information to be added to your marketing list. You can also use these devices to take pictures with attendees and post them on your social media pages. This is a cost-effective way to bring more attention to your company in a way that is fun and engaging, and you can use devices that you already have at the office to make it happen.

4 Reasons You Should Not Attend All Trade Shows

Trade shows are a wonderful way to market your products and services to potential customers. The events are also helpful in finding other businesses that you may want to partner with. However, it’s not necessary for you to attend all trade shows. Here are a few reasons why all trade shows may not be for you.

Location

The location of the trade show could determine whether or not you need to attend. If all the most lucrative trade shows for your industry are out of town, plan carefully to ensure that you’re going to the events that will benefit you the most. When you’re going out of town, you have to come up with practical ways to ship your trade show exhibits, and you’ll also need to come up with hotel accommodations for yourself and your team members. This can be expensive, so every trade show should be well thought out.

Space

If the trade show you’re thinking of attending doesn’t have enough space for your trade show exhibit, it may be best to not go. This is especially the case if every part of your exhibit serves a specific marketing purpose or if your booth decorations all fit together to create a complete look. If you won’t have the space to showcase your business in the best possible light, it’s best to not attend.

Attendees

If you haven’t been able to confirm that people coming to the trade show will be interested in what you have to offer, you probably shouldn’t attend. You don’t want your trade show exhibits to be lost on people who can’t appreciate them. If the trade show you’re considering isn’t known for having great attendance, don’t attend unless you know for sure that the majority of the people coming want to know more about your products and services.

Type of Show

If your business doesn’t need to participate in wholesale trade show events, you’ll need to think long and hard before attending one. Do you want customers to purchase items directly from the show, or are you just attending the trade show to gather leads so that you can continue marketing when the trade show is over? Wholesale trade show events may be beneficial when you have a lot of product to sell or if you’ve already marketed for the event, but think about the habits of your customers and the promotion strategies that work best for you before you decide to attend.

Running Your Business

Finally, if attending trade shows and putting together trade show exhibits take too much time away from your valued customers, you may need to reduce the number of trade shows you attend. After all, you have to find a balance between gaining new clients and making sure the customers you’ve already gained feel valued and appreciated.

What You Should Know as an Exhibit Attendee

One of the best ways to figure out what you should do at the next trade show you’re a part of is to go to a few marketing events as an attendee. You may even want to attend a trade show with some of your employees to get varying outlooks on how your next trade show can bring in a significant volume of customers. This will give you a customer’s perspective and could help you get the tactics you need to successfully promote your business the next time you set up your trade show exhibits.

Be Willing to Learn

When you go to trade show exhibits, always be willing to learn. Observe everything around you to make sure that the marketing messaging and materials are consistent. Look at the quality of the booth materials, and be sure to ask questions about the company’s philosophy and products. Visit businesses that you’re actually interested in so that you can observe the marketing tools that truly work with attendees.

Look for Professionalism

One of the best trade show ideas you can emulate after being an attendee is making sure that you’re as professional as possible when you’re dealing with potential customers. When you ask questions, make sure the employees you’re interacting with are knowledgeable about the product or know how to connect you with someone who can help. Employees should also be friendly and engaging, and shouldn’t appear as though they want to hurry you along just to be able to talk to as many people as possible.

Think About What Stands Out

Pay attention to the trade show ideas other companies use to attract attendees. Are they outlandish? Do they appeal to the emotions? Are they practical and straightforward? Check to see if the marketing method matches with the company’s “personality,” and take notes on how you can use this concept for your business. If you have attractive signage or a team of employees who are especially friendly and knowledgeable, use these factors to your advantage. If you have graphic art that is the main feature of your trade show display, make sure this is the first thing customers see. When you notice what stands out in other trade show booths, you can make the necessary adjustments to your own exhibit.

Leave the Right Info with the Right People

Even if a booth has great trade show ideas, you shouldn’t leave your contact information with a business you know you’re not going to patronize. You certainly wouldn’t want attendees wasting your time in this way, so consider this when you go to a trade show as a customer. It’s also a good idea to see the collection methods that other companies use so you can figure out which ones will be most effective for your business.

You can gather some very useful information at trade show exhibits when you attend as a customer. Take this information back to your team to help you come up with ways that you can make your next trade show experience one that brings in customers and boosts the reputation of your company.

7 Common Trade Show Myths

When you’re coming up with trade show ideas for your next event, it’s important to be aware of the misconceptions that are associated with trade shows. This will help you to come up with effective trade show ideas, and will keep you from making some of the marketing and organization mistakes that some companies make the first few times they attend trade shows. Here are a few myths that need to be dispelled.

Anyone Can Work the Trade Show Booth

Don’t assume that just because your team members work in the office and are familiar with your products and services that any of them can work your trade show exhibit. Select team members who are both knowledgeable and friendly. Choose individuals who don’t mind talking to strangers or engaging with attendees who may have a lot of questions. You want to make sure that the face-to-face interaction that attendees receive from your company is top-notch so that they will patronize your business in the future

Trade Show Marketing is the Same as “Regular” Marketing

When you advertise for your trade show, you need to display your trade show exhibit in the marketing and let customers know what they can expect when they attend the event. This is not the same as marketing your business in general. Make sure your trade show promos are as specific as possible.

Trade Shows Are a Huge Party

While the trade show exhibit can be a great way to show off your creativity and have fun with attendees, there’s a lot that goes into the planning process to make sure that your marketing efforts are worthwhile. Take the event seriously by putting time into your marketing materials and trade show booth to make sure that you get the results you want.

You Can’t Get Reliable Leads

The people who visit your trade show exhibit can turn into qualified leads if you know how to promote your business well. Make sure that you are attracting people who are actually interested in your products and services. Come up with a method for leads that is effective, such as a raffle, since it may require attendees to visit your booth several times during the trade show.

Trade Shows Are a Waste of Time

Trade shows can work well when it comes to bringing in new customers. The key is to make sure that you’re targeting the right people in order to make the trade show a success for your business.

Virtual Trade Shows Are Better

Even though technological advances are taking over many aspects of business, it’s important to remember that there is still value in talking to customers in person. While you may livestream your trade show experience for customers who can’t be present, you should still make sure that your personal interactions with clients are warm, friendly, and informative. Virtual trade shows can’t provide you with that, so don’t completely go the virtual route just yet.

All Trade Shows Are the Same

Finally, get rid of the myth that all trade shows are the same. Yes, the setups and formats may be similar, but there’s a good chance that you’ll meet different types of attendees each time you work a trade show. Treat each experience differently, and come up with trade show ideas that will appeal to a large audience so that you can come home with qualified leads that will help your business grow.