How can you know if you’re making the most of your tradeshows? I think we all agree that they are necessary, but are they worth it? One of the main challenges we face at shows is generating leads. How can we accurately determine who has seen your booth, stopped to talk to you, attended a class, and is ready to buy? To stack the odds in your favor, you need to vigorously market your shows.
PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. You should begin designing your booth months in advance. Who will work your booth? What products or classes will you be showcasing? What’s your strategy for following up on leads? This includes pre-show and post-show as well. Use direct mail, email, landing pages, etc. Decide on a clear and compelling call to action and vigorously promote it!
SEND REMINDERS. People get busy, things get pushed to the side. It happens. Consistently remind your target audience that you’ll be at the show, give them your booth number and location if you have it, tease a new release or special promotion. Getting attention is just as important as keeping attention!
DON’T FORGET ABOUT AFTER THE SHOW. Just because the tradeshow is over, doesn’t mean your work is done. Follow up with attendees, but don’t try to sell them right away. Send them a thank you email, offer them a free download your presentation or workshop, gauge their interest. Keep the interest alive by creating post-show content on your blog or social media platforms.
CALCULATE YOUR SUCCESS. Promptly set up a debriefing meeting with all the members of your sales and marketing teams. Determine what worked and what didn’t. Measure your results and your shortcomings. Use all of this information to improve on your next show.
MEASURE YOUR RESULTS. This should be an ongoing process for several months after the show. Look back at your plan. How did you perform? Be sure to document your results from start to finish. This is help you optimize your strategy for the coming year.
Tradeshows may be a bit of a necessary evil in your industry. These steps are a solid start to getting the most ROI for your time and costs of travel and accommodation.
We’re happy to help plan your marketing strategy for the year, tradeshows or not. Give us a call at 800.538.0669.