Your prospects don’t need to attend a trade show to learn about your products anymore; they can visit your website, read online reviews, or browse your social media platforms.
However, trade shows are an excellent way to promote excitement around a new product or service and are events major companies are expected to attend. Trade shows also offer a great way to practice Inbound Marketing.
Whether you’re preparing for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), or the International Builders’ Show, we’ve collected a few tips to assist you before, during, and after the show to help you get the best results possible.
Before the Show
Come up with a lead generation plan
You need to give prospects a reason to visit your booth. Hiring a masseuse or tapping a beer keg might get them to visit, but would you want to be sold to while getting a massage or trying to relax with a beer?
Collecting business cards and giving away freebies can help, but you need to add real value by offering special event pricing, sharing relevant case studies, or offering an exclusive eBook download.
Design your booth to command attention
Think about how storefronts are all competing for your attention. In a sea of trade show booths, you need to use colors, textures, and unique displays to capture the attention of those walking by.
Take a look at this booth we designed for Allura. Is this something you would make a point of visiting?
Spread the word
Send an email campaign to your contact list with the details about the trade show and any special offers. Make sure all of your clients and prospects know you’re attending the show and offer to hold meetings or webinars based on the show schedule. Then, post to your social media channels in the weeks leading up to the event to create excitement as well.
Create follow-up email templates
Show attendees are stopping by dozens of booths and at the end of the day, they may forget the conversation you had. By creating a summary email template, thanking them for visiting the booth, providing a link to your website, and a helpful offer, such as an eBook, white paper, or informational video, you can remain top-of-mind and begin to nurture the prospect.
During the Show
Make sure you have enough event staff on hand, typically some sales and service staff, to greet people and answer questions. Collect the prospect's information, answer any questions they have, and send the templated email you wrote before the event with an introductory paragraph that includes something specific you talked about.
It is also good practice to use the event hashtag and post live videos on your social media channels to promote traffic.
After the Show
Once the trade show is over, add the new contacts to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database and enroll them in drip email campaigns to continue to nurture them. This process of providing useful information throughout the buying journey as a way to attract, engage, and convert customers is called inbound marketing.
If you want to become an Inbound Marketing Expert and get the best results from your next trade show, Download our Inbound Marketing eBook.