November 20, 2019
In today’s ever-evolving business climate, trade show events still persist. Why? Because they work. Trade shows provide an excellent venue to increase your brand’s visibility, showcase your latest products and services and connect with thousands of potential customers- all within a short span of time. But with so little time and a lot of competition, how can your brand stand out?
By connecting and engaging with attendees not only during the show but before it.
Long before your booth is built you should be doing some early legwork to ensure you engage with your customers when they arrive on the show floor. But that's not all. How your brand connects with customers after the show is just as important as the event itself. So, we’ve also included bonus steps for keeping the engagement going long after the show is over.
Before the Show
How can your prospects and customers get pumped for your booth at the trade show if they don’t know you’re going to be there? Here are helpful ways to engage customers and create a successful marketing campaign before the event:
- Create an email marketing campaign that lets prospects and customers know you’ll be at the trade show and what they can look forward to. This shows them your brand is ahead of the game. It gets their attention and puts you on their ‘must visit’ list before the event even takes place.
- Send a pre-show survey to gather information about what customers want/expect. This way you can make sure their wants and needs are met and exceeded. You may even end up with a few new ideas you hadn’t considered.
- Use social media to let customers know you’ll be at the trade show. This step is crucial. Social media is powerful and has the capability of reaching large amounts of people. Offer incentives to those who mention a tweet, it shows your brand is excited about the event, and that excitement will translate to customers. And don’t forget to mention your booth number!
During the Show
Your business has connected with customers well before the event and now it’s showtime. Here are key elements to help your brand stand out among the competition:
- Videos that attract attendees are essential. The trade show floor is crowded and loud, so you need something that can cut through all of the buzz. A video that’s big, splashy, and eye-catching will make attendees want to know what’s happening at your booth- and stay to learn more.
- Once you have attention, use interactives keep it. Interactives help people dive deeper to find what they’re looking for, but in an engaging way. Virtual reality, interactive video walls, and touch tables are all great opportunities to share information about your brand with prospects and customers- while making the process fun and entertaining.
- Make the most of your time and money with geofencing. This tool takes your display ads and pushes them to people based on their location. Not only does this boost brand awareness and drive qualified booth traffic, it also gathers important data about your prospects like where they’re spending most of their time. Not only that, it can help you track how much foot traffic you’re getting.
- Capturing information, like an email address, from prospective customers is key to keeping the conversation about your brand going, long after the trade show is done. Technology and apps make this an easy task by creating customer surveys to fill out or scanning business cards, which then collect the prospect’s information.
- Knowledgeable and fun staff on hand is a must. How many times have you been in a tradeshow booth only to find that everyone has scattered as soon as you have a question? Be sure your booth staff is friendly and ready to interact with customers and potential prospects.
- Happy Hour! Free food and drinks with a sitting area to relax or hold meetings creates an inviting and warm atmosphere and encourages attendees to stop by. And free Wifi attracts attendees and keeps them around longer offering more time for conversations and networking.
- Invest in a digital hanging sign. Not only will the motion and bright lights spark interest, it’s also one of the most talked-about trade show trends of 2019. Wherever your booth is located, a digital hanging sign will be sure to grab attention.
BONUS: After the Show
The event is officially over, but your work isn’t done. Timely follow-ups will reinforce networking connections and improve your ROI. Here are tips on how to keep the engagement going with customers and prospects:
- Send a thank-you email to attendees for stopping by your booth and to show your appreciation for their interest.
- Send a post-show survey to see what your brand did well and to receive feedback on areas to improve.
- Share on social media and continue to promote your brand with pictures and videos from the event.
- Write a blog post! Share your pre-show, show floor, and post-show activities. This will continue the conversation with your target audience.
Overall, trade shows are a great opportunity to gain brand exposure, connect with customers and prospects, and create networking opportunities. These steps aren’t definitive, but by incorporating some or all of them, your brand can increase its engagement with attendees- before, during, and well after the trade show is over.
Looking for more ideas on engaging trade show audiences? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org