Trade shows are not just about networking and seeing what swag other exhibitors are giving away. When done correctly, tradeshow appearances are part of a deliberate, comprehensive B2B or B2C strategy designed to attract potential customers and deliver more useful information to prospects.

When your tradeshow strategy is sound and thoughtfully constructed, your business gains better ROI on the investment in staffing, displays and time spent away from the office.

Here are some important steps to take in developing your tradeshow strategy.

1. Know Why

Start by asking why you want to attend trade shows. These occasions are a significant investment. Be clear about your reasons and desired outcomes by answering the following:

  • Why do we attend trade shows?
  • What goals do we have for each show? Is it direct sales, top-of-the-funnel leads, more brand awareness?
  • How will we gather leads and follow up?
  • What is our plan for actions before, during and after each tradeshow?

2. Find the Right Trade Shows

Understanding where to spend your tradeshow marketing dollars is important. There are two basic types of trade shows to consider:

  • Trade shows related to your industry
  • Audience-specific trade shows

There are many online resources to identify which shows to attend. It also helps to ask existing customers and do some online sleuthing to find where your competitors are going. 

3. Prepare for the Show

You’ll need a number of resources in place well in advance:

  • Website content, including landing pages, about the show
  • Take-away information for visitors
  • Booth designs and construction
  • Promotions and discounts for customers that buy at the show or soon thereafter

Planning well in advance means you’ll be ready and focused on customers and prospects when the show arrives.

4. Spread the Word

Make sure your marketing strategy incorporates upcoming tradeshow appearances. You can communicate your own participation in the trade show and serve as a valuable resource to attendees. Post blog entries that talk about the tradeshow, the sessions to attend, the value to be gained, whether you’ll be appearing as a speaker or panelist and what you’ll be showcasing or unveiling. Hinting at tradeshow-only deals or discounts is important. Don’t forget to tell people where your booth is, especially at larger shows where it’s hard to find exhibitors.

Use your website and online marketing tools to maximize your outreach and give people a way to connect with you at the tradeshow.

5. Follow Up

Your company needs a follow-up strategy to reach out to those who visited your booth and expressed interest. These are your best possible prospects and need to be contacted soon after the show to continue conversations.

6. Find the Right Partner

Planning for trade shows is a complex process. Finding the right partner is essential. At FizzPop Media, we help companies develop tradeshow strategies that incorporate website design and marketing automation to maximize ROI. Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation on booth design and marketing strategy,