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The Comprehensive Guide to Trade Show Marketing

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The Comprehensive Guide to Trade Show Marketing

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A handy guide specifically built for marketers, sales executives and business owners at all levels and across all industries to ensure a successful trade show experience now and in the future. If you'd like to explore how we can help your company with trade shows, please shoot us a note at graphicadesign.com/contact and we'll be sure to follow up.

A handy guide specifically built for marketers, sales executives and business owners at all levels and across all industries to ensure a successful trade show experience now and in the future. If you'd like to explore how we can help your company with trade shows, please shoot us a note at graphicadesign.com/contact and we'll be sure to follow up.

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The Comprehensive Guide to Trade Show Marketing

  1. 1. The Comprehensive Guide to Trade Show Marketing
  2. 2. 3 Phases:
  3. 3. 1. Pre-Show 2. At the Show 3. Post-Show
  4. 4. 1. Pre-Show
  5. 5. develop your strategy. determine your tactics. design the experience.
  6. 6. Create your checklist.
  7. 7. Your checklist should be a high-level brief to keep you on track and ensure you don’t forget any key items along the way.
  8. 8. Strategy: goals, objectives, tactics, lead tracking Communications: promotion, advertising, sponsorship Schedule: trade show calendar, meetings, events Logistics: hotel, travel, booth size, design, traffic flow Legal: contracts, deposits, insurance Be sure to include:
  9. 9. Consider your strategy.
  10. 10. What are your goals for this event? Let’s map it out. Put together a game plan that is quantifiable, timely and realistic.
  11. 11. “We want to come back with 50 solid prospects, which will lead to 25 meetings, which will lead to 5 new sales for a total of $2.5M within 6 months of the show.” Something like this:
  12. 12. Design the experience.
  13. 13. Design can mean the difference between success and failure at any trade show. Be sure to choose the right partner for the job.
  14. 14. Some of our designs.
  15. 15. 2. At the Show
  16. 16. engage your audience. think beyond the booth. keep it fun and free.
  17. 17. Engage your audience.
  18. 18. Striking up a conversation with a stranger can be a bit daunting, right? We all have a heated battle going on inside our heads at any given time. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind:
  19. 19. You’re at this trade show for a reason. You are a capable and trusted member of your team who was chosen to represent your company and you know your stuff. What is there to be nervous about? Do your thing. Be confident.
  20. 20. The most interesting people in this world are the ones who find others interesting. Ask questions and really listen. Become genuinely interested in other people. You might even consider coming up with a few questions to ask as attendees are walking by your booth. Be curious.
  21. 21. Offer time-sensitive raffles and giveaways via social media to encourage attendees to follow your brand’s social media channels during the event. Take pictures with the winners and share on your channels. Raffles and giveaways can build excitement around your booth and really draw a crowd. Use time.
  22. 22. Video should be a key part of your trade show strategy. This could be a clip to demo your product or service. Just be sure to keep it short, simple, engaging and memorable to create interest and leave your audience wanting more. Use video.
  23. 23. Some of our videos.
  24. 24. Think beyond the booth.
  25. 25. Don’t forget that you’re in the same city as your prospective customers. Set up get togethers away from the booth for key 1:1 time with the people you most want to meet with. Happy hour party, anyone? Expand your reach. You’re close. Remember that awesome demo video you’re showing at your booth to catch attention? Share it on social media. By doing so, you can reach both trade show attendees and those who couldn’t make the show but follow your company.
  26. 26. Keep it fun and free.
  27. 27. Dust off that selfie-stick. Ask people for a picture as they are walking by. Have a little fun with it. It helps if you have something at your booth (besides yourself) for them to take a picture with, such as an oversized product replica or company/team mascot, etc. The idea is to make it something they’ll want to share with their team and others.
  28. 28. After you get the picture, tell them you will email it to them and post it on social media with a shout out to them. This will also help you gather their email address and social media account(s) so you can keep in touch. Try posting something like this: Share it.
  29. 29. “Thanks to @ABCCompany for stopping by our booth #345. Stop back tomorrow to enter our raffle giveaway contest! #yourcompany #eventhashtag”
  30. 30. Popcorn, pretzels, cookies – they all work like a charm. Candy is ok, but you might want to stick to more "filling" foods. Put them in the middle of your booth to encourage a friendly hello. And who doesn’t love some cold beverages at hand? Offer free food & drinks.
  31. 31. Keep in mind, many of the attendees will be traveling dads and moms. They’ve got kids who expect a souvenir of sorts when they get back, so help them deliver. Offer T-shirts with a few kids sizes in the mix. You’ll make that mom, dad, aunt or uncle an absolute superstar...if only for a day. Appeal to the family.
  32. 32. 3. Post-Show
  33. 33. follow up. add value in every message. be patiently persistent.
  34. 34. Follow up.
  35. 35. After the show you’ll want to follow up with two key groups – your leads and your trade show team.
  36. 36. Lead follow up:
  37. 37. Remember those great conversations that were started at the show? Keep em’ going. Sincerely thank your contacts for attending. Express appreciation in meeting them as well as your interest to continue the conversation and to keep in touch.
  38. 38. • Handwritten card • Personal email • LinkedIn invite with personal message • Social media posts, tags, follows, likes • Email newsletter campaign • Direct mail campaign • Custom gift Follow up ideas:
  39. 39. Conduct a de-brief with your team following the event. Talk about what they felt went well and what areas they think could be improved. This post-show communication is crucial to creating the very best trade show experience for everyone involved – so don’t skip it! Team follow up.
  40. 40. Add value every time.
  41. 41. Don’t just follow up to ‘check in’ or ‘touch base.’ This is a waste of your prospect’s time and yours. As marketers, you can help your sales team bring value at every touchpoint. Here are a few ways to add value at every step in the process:
  42. 42. You can create valuable content by using the very questions asked about your product or service at the show. By doing so, you’ll become a trusted thought leader and problem solver around these topics. This will draw your prospects closer to you. Answer questions.
  43. 43. Even if it’s not your work, share something that you know they would find valuable and that may spark some ideas. Keep doing this and you’ll become a trusted, valued resource to them. Share work.
  44. 44. We all have our networks. We all want to connect with people that we value and who can help us grow our business and enrich our lives. So, become a connector. You’ll be helping them and yourself at the same time. Connect them.
  45. 45. Be patiently persistent.
  46. 46. Be proactive in keeping in touch with trade show leads. Be aware that there is a fine line between demonstrating “polite persistence” and being so aggressively relentless that you damage the very relationship you were trying to build.
  47. 47. Create a schedule to contact each trade show prospect around 6-8 times within a period of six months or so following the event. Patient persistence in your sales and marketing communications will result in growing your business – it’s all just a matter of time. Schedule it out.
  48. 48. 3 Phases:we know trade shows. let’s talk. graphicadesign.com | 937.866.4013

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