9 Ways to Improve your booth marketing strategy
With every passing day, the number of companies who are choosing to participate in trade shows is increasing exponentially. Trade shows are one of the best marketing tools that a company can use. From large multi-national corporations to small start-ups, every brand is provided with an equal opportunity to showcase their offerings to the gathered crowd.
Since trade shows are typically industry-specific, you can use the event as an opportunity to meet new business partners, learn more about your competitors, and find new clients. But, given the high investment of both time and money that is required to pull off a successful run at an event, it’s vital that you get your trade show marketing strategy absolutely spot on. A good plan is all you need to ensure that you make the most of your participation at the event.
There are a number of ways in which you can improve your booth marketing strategy to draw the required attendees to your trade show booth. To assist you with this process, here’s a look at some important tips that can help you plan for the upcoming event:
Plan in Advance
If you have participated in a trade show before, we’re sure you understand that there’s a lot of work involved in getting your booth together. Ideally, it’s best to start planning for the show at least a year in advance. This will leave you with enough time to make improvisations based on changing market trends and accommodate any last-minute changes.
Planning for the show doesn’t just mean booking your tickets and hotels in advance. It also refers to thinking about the products you would like to showcase, coming up with the leaflets or marketing materials you want to distribute, carefully considering the giveaways you will hand out, and most importantly, planning your booth’s display. If you want your booth to be noticed at a busy event, you need to ensure that it stands out from the crowd.
Define Your Goals
In order to formulate a truly spectacular trade show marketing strategy, you need to first list out your goals for the event. What do you hope to achieve at the end of the show? Perhaps you want to widen your client base or launch a new product or service. It’s always best to ensure that you have a clear goal in mind before you start really preparing for the show.
Whenever you’re outlining or defining a goal, it’s a good idea to ensure that it’s a SMART goal. These goals are:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Once you know what your goals are, you can come up with a booth marketing strategy that will help you achieve them. Remember, every trade show decision that you make should take you one step closer to achieving your goals.
Find the Perfect Spot
Where you are located on the trade show floor could dictate how many attendees will engage with you and your booth. This is why you need to start planning in advance and book your space as quickly as possible. Ideally, try and find a booth near the entrance.
That way, customers will see your booth first and are likely to want to visit. A booth near the exit, on the other hand, might not enjoy the same popularity, as attendees will be tired after walking through the hall and might not have the time or energy to interact with you or your booth staff.
Once you know where you’ll be on the trade show floor, you can come up with a design that will make your booth inviting to the people passing by.
Design with Function
To design a booth that is both attractive and functional, you need to be clear about your trade show objectives and the key message you would like to share with all the attendees.
Once you know what you would like to achieve, designing the booth becomes much easier. Let’s assume that you’re attending the event to launch a new product. It’s not necessarily the only product of its type, but it is different than what your competitors are currently offering.
This means that you need a product display at the center of your booth. You could also have a demo station, where you show the gathered crowd how your product is useful.
Now that you have the centerpiece for your booth, it’s time to think about the display as a whole. Pick a color palette that matches your brand guidelines and stick to it. This will improve brand recall in an attendee’s mind and is likely to help your company’s name linger in their memory for a while after the show is over. Avoid displaying long lines of copy across your booth.
Instead, use short phrases that help attendees understand what your brand is about. It’s also a good idea to place the copy between 4-6 feet above the ground, as this makes it highly visible, so people passing by will easily see what you have to say.
Interactive booths are definitely the most useful. You can use large touch screens and information kiosks to encourage attendees to interact with your booth on their own terms. This will make them feel more comfortable since they don’t necessarily have to talk to anybody to acquire some basic information about your brand and what you do.
Make Your Presence Felt Before the Event
Trade show attendees are often overwhelmed by the number of brand choices presented to them. More often than not, they will use their intuition or look for familiar names before deciding which booths to visit and which ones to walk past.
This is why it is crucial to let your existing and potential customers know that you will be at the event. You can create an event on social media and invite your followers to the show. Or, for a more personal touch, send e-mails to your clients asking them if they’d like to attend the event.
Along with the invites, you could also send clients a map of the trade show floor, with your booth’s position marked clearly.
You could even post videos and images showing your followers how you’re gearing up for the event. Another great way to pique their interest is by providing your online followers with an exclusive discount code that they can use while purchasing your offerings at the event. These small teasers and incentives could go a long way in convincing your customers that they should attend the trade show.
Get Your A-Team Ready
While your booth is definitely the pièce-de-résistance of your trade show appearance, the staff manning your display are just as important. The way they conduct themselves during the event will leave a lasting impression on the people who interact with them.
This is why you need to ensure that every member of your team is completely aware of your trade show goals and that they have the tools required to help you achieve them.
In the weeks leading up to the event, hold orientation sessions with the team to ensure that they are updated on your brand’s offerings and mission. You could also provide each staff member with a uniform that will make them incredibly visible, even at crowded events.
Give them a few tips on how they can strike up conversations with potential clients and encourage them to visit your booth. If you have a good team behind you, you will definitely be able to turn your trade show dreams into reality.
Don’t Just Exhibit –Make Your Presence Felt
Simply having a booth at a trade show isn’t always enough to get your brand the recognition it deserves. While you’re at the event, it’s important that you let attendees know that you’re there and you’re willing to do what it takes to prove yourself.
The easiest way to get conversations going about your brand is by making your booth and brand name as visible as possible. You can do this with creative signage and bold colors. You can also host games or organize product demonstrations to draw in large crowds.
If you can, invite an industry-expert or celebrity to your booth and ask them to engage with visitors. This will boost your popularity immensely and will keep people talking about you and your booth for a long time.
Nail Your Branding & Giveaway Game
When it comes to marketing your booth during the trade show, nothing can help you better than visible giveaways that every attendee is envious of. Instead of handing out pens and notepads that are easily lost or hidden in a visitor’s pocket, hand out branded canvas bags that can be reused not just at the trade show, but after it as well.
Inside the bag, you can put together a cluster of useful items like battery packs, phone covers, travel adapters or even Bluetooth headphones and speakers. You can also have members of your staff walk through the hall using these giveaways. This will definitely make the crowd curious and lead them to your booth.
Have a Follow-Up Strategy in Place
To truly taste success at the end of the show, it’s vital that you have a good follow-up strategy in place. It’s always best to act within 72 hours of the show, as this is when the memory of your brand is still fresh in your potential customer’s mind.
If you can, ask the member of staff who interacted with each respective lead to follow up with them and set up a meeting to take the conversation further. It may seem like a small and easy thing to do, but a quick follow-up could spell the difference between success and failure at the end of the event.
With our helpful tips, you should be able to create a sound booth marketing strategy for your upcoming trade show. Good luck!