How will you get noticed at your next tradeshow?

Every year, hundreds of trade shows across the country connect buyers and sellers directly. Trade shows can be a powerful platform for exhibiting your product and representing your brand. They are also a great way to share your product with a pre-determined audience, while also investigating the competition. This means that your marketing endeavors need to be well orchestrated. First and last impressions can make or break a sale, so your marketing strategy needs to be planned out from start to finish.

To improve your brand’s memorability, try these trade show tactics:

1. Take Advantage of Pre-show Marketing

If you want the best results, start your marketing before a trade show even begins. Trade show pros begin their customer outreach months in advance. Using pre-show marketing as part of your trade booth strategy is a great way to enforce your brand and increase exhibit traffic. Postcards and email campaigns can establish or reestablish direct contacts and give them a reason to come to the show. Use your pre-show marketing as a teaser, giving recipients a compelling reason to seek you out. Offer prizes, giveaways, demos and games. Tell them how fun and informative your booth will be so they won’t want to miss it. A direct email can significantly encourage people to visit your booth who otherwise may not. You can also advertise in promotional mailings you know will be making the rounds to reach a more general audience.

Remember: part of branding is repetition, and the more beneficial contact you establish, the better.

2. Strategize Your Booth Location

Location matters, especially at trade shows. Stimuli are coming at people from all sides – and it can be overwhelming! Pick a high traffic and very visible location like at the end of a row, where people will pass by frequently. An end booth is also optimal because you should get traffic from both directions, meaning your brand will be seen (and remembered) more frequently.

3. Design an Eye-catching Booth

Everyone is at the trade show is vying for attention, but that’s no reason your booth can’t be eye catching and memorable. Design a booth that has top notch visual graphics while also appealing to the other more neglected senses, like taste and touch. If you have a product that you can demonstrate, think about how you can make those demonstrations extreme and exciting, or at the very least, memorable.

Aside from the engaging product demonstration, make sure guests receive a tasty treat with your brand logo on it or hear a tune with your jingle. Having tangible and interactive samples will make people stick around longer and learn more. Also consider how to incorporate humor into your booth. Getting people to laugh, touch, talk and listen at your booth means they are more likely to remember your company brand.

4. Staff Your Booth with Well Trained, Engaging Employees

If the staff working your booth are glum, standoffish, or generally not helpful, all your other efforts will be negated. Make sure your staff is well trained to demonstrate products, ask questions, and provide concise, informed information. Remember to plan a lead-gathering method, so that your staff can record names and contact information of potential customers. Consider using a computer based system that will automatically add new leads to an online database for future use. Teach staff how to effectively demonstrate your product. If your staff isn’t confident with how to discuss or display your product, the insecurity can turn potential clients away. Having a friendly, funny, and attractive team is most certainly a booth booster. Provide your staff with pep talks, training, and perhaps some perks to set a happy tone.

5. Plan Your Post-show Follow-up

Leads don’t turn into sales without a follow-up. Use the leads you gathered during the trade show to contact parties of interest. Send an email thanking people personally for visiting your booth or your events. If it’s relevant, try to schedule a meeting, lunch, or event with the potential client. Be sure to enclose your contact and product information to make following up as easy as possible.

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