Trade Show Marketing

When the opportunity arises to exhibit at a trade show specific to a clients' industry, I will often recommend that they participate. Trade shows offer a unique opportunity by delivering lots of clients and prospects to your booth, creating a chance for some "face time". This helps keep you visible to your clients and prospects so you are not "conspicuous in your absence". If they don't see you at a trade show and haven't heard from you in awhile they may wonder if you are still in business. With the number of businesses closing these days, no one ever seems surprised to hear a company went under.

Trade shows must be worked correctly to maximize their value

The typical trade show approach of handing out giveaways to passers by while joking around with friends in the booth is of no value. Trade shows should be treated like a hunting trip. You are there hunting for opportunities. Let the party atmosphere distract everyone else while you dig for business. Here are a few tips that have made trade shows a valuable marketing tool for several clients.

  • Collect data - company names, employee names, titles, phone, email, mailing address. This data can be used for direct mail and email campaigns later.
  • Send someone to walk the show floor looking for target clients. Read badges, collect names, and report back to the booth on the target clients that are attending the show.
  • When your target clients walk by, introduce yourself and invite them into the booth to have a seat and discuss their needs. Set aside space inside your booth for sit-down meetings. You'll get alot more info from them if they are comfortable and in a quieter place.
  • Have a very attractive or interesting proposition to offer prospective clients. Something new in your industry that solves a pervasive problem for your prospect. Consider partnering with a leading manufacturer to create a "united front" in marketing their products (if you believe in them and know that they can help your client base.)
  • Follow-up a few days after the trade show, offering a private meeting (sales call) to further discuss their needs and provide a proposal.

I can help you strategize on whether to participate in a trade show and help you with the tactical preparations to make sure you succeed while there, including:

  • Designing trade show booths.
  • Preparing informational trade show brochures and other handouts.
  • Helping acquire memorable (but inexpensive) trade show giveaways.
  • Preparing the sales staff to "hunt" while on the show floor.
  • Creating follow-up mailings or emails to "close the loop" with the prospects you met while there.
  • Work the trade show booth with you (at your request) to help harvest leads.

Call me to discuss your marketing and communication requirements. 317-258-8608.