Billions of dollars are made at trade shows, with the most innovative booths netting the highest foot traffic and ROI. About 99 percent оf marketers surveyed gained unique value from trade show participation that was not achievable in оthеr mаrkеtіng efforts. How do successful companies connect with clients as these events?
Experienced industry professionals offer the following tips and strategies.
First Impressions are Everything
The first impression you make determines how successful your relationship with a person becomes. The same holds true between customers and brands. It takes one-fifth of a second for someone to form an opinion of your website almost entirely based on its design. In the same way, a creative trade show booth makes attendees curious enough to come see what your product is about.
Even if you don’t have a large budget, don’t leave your trade show exhibit to chance. Design an exhibit that stands out so that your product does too.
Follow the Crowd
If you’re new to a city and walking around the restaurant district, how do you decide where to eat? Do you go into the empty one with no customers to avoid a long wait or head straight for the one with a line out the door? Social proof is a predictable beast. If other people are spending time at your booth, others will want to know what the buzz is about. Encourage other employees to hang out at the booth and talk to attendees about your booth’s best features, including the product. Engaging with onlookers is the best way to get them in the door.
Create an Experience
Some products are difficult to interact with. In that case, creating an expression works even better. Take Charity Water develops safe, clean water sources for those in developing nations with no sustainable water supply. In their booth, they let visitors walk 40-pound jugs down a 50-yard platform. Many villagers fetch water from miles away every day.
Get Your Best Clients to the Show
Trade shows aren’t just for new clients. If you want to continue getting referrals, get your best customers tickets to the trade show. Wow them and remind them why your product and your company are so awesome. Encourage them to spread the word.
To determine how successful you were, measure your return on investment. Whether you hand out a promo code or add the tradeshow to your marketing survey, find out how many customers find out about you through each event. It helps you figure out what you should keep or change for next year.
Unique ideas generate buzz but the strategy must resonate with your target audience. Don’t go big without a clearly defined purpose. The biggest success comes from well-thought-out marketing campaigns that help attendees get to know your brand well enough to buy your product.