August 22, 2018
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 before, during, and after the trade show. How your brand engages with customers before and after the show is just as important as the event itself. So, we’ve broken down 12 steps to help improve booth traffic for your brand.
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 before the event:
- Send an email to customers and prospects to let them 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 thought of!
- 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.
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 from the competition:
- Videos that attract attention 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.
- Use interactives to keep your audience's attention. They help people dive in 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.
- Geofencing will help you make the most of your time and money. 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 and 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.
- A 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.
- 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.
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.
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