Participating in a trade show is a serious business. For companies, it’s a platform to promote their brand and expertise, and usually involves a hefty investment. Rent for the exhibition booth space, the cost of creative exhibition stand design and installation, travel and accommodation expenses incurred by company staff attending the trade show, free give-aways and other expenses – they all add up to a fairly large number. So naturally, you have to get good return on investment.
Whether you are looking for sales leads or to create a buzz for your brand, whether yours is a custom built exhibition stand or a modular design, success depends on getting the right people and the right volume to your booth.
Research has shown that about 70% of attendees usually make a list of the stands they plan to visit long before they enter the exhibition hall or convention centre. Most individuals visit trade shows with the intent of finding products, services, and solutions so they have a predefined plan for the stalls they will visit during the event. Hence, it is necessary to ensure that visiting your exhibition stall becomes a part of your target audience’s agenda. To do that, they must be notified about your participation in an event in advance so that they are persuaded to visit your stall.
Here are 4 marketing methods to increase the footfall at your exhibition stall and maximize the return on your investment.
1. Harness the reach of social media
Social media is a great way to notify your target group that you are participating in a specific trade show. Create posts for your business page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and promote your exhibit. You can highlight features of your stall, introduce special offers, share videos of your product and invite visitors to come see/try the product up close.
2. Design a catchy email campaign
When it comes to email, there are two groups to target. Firstly your inhouse database of regular customers, local contacts and solid prospects. Secondly, the registered attendees of the trade show. Organisers will usually give you access to this list, so you can shortlist possible prospects and reach out to them.
Though the most ideal strategy would be to send personalised mails or invites, it may not be practical. In any case, email marketing is a really effective and inexpensive way of informing visitors and attracting leads. Here, rather than generic invitations, try highlighting a fresh offer or product feature that works as a hook to rouse curiosity and build interest in your product or company.
3. Invest in digital marketing
While promoting your event on social media is free, it can be helpful to leverage paid ads and posts to ensure the right people see your communication through targeting. You could also build an interactive microsite with simple questions, drop-down lists etc. encouraging visitors to set an appointment for meeting at your stand. It’s a great way to ensure potential visitors visit your exhibition booth.
4. Go offline too
In addition to online channels, don’t forget to use every offline opportunity as well. You could publish advertisements in industry magazines to promote your exhibit and make a case for prospects to visit your trade show booth.
There are many companies who prefer to use snail mail too, sending creative invitations and direct mailers. In our increasingly digital world, holding attractive communication in your hand has its own appeal.
When planning your pre-exhibition marketing strategy, it’s worth remembering that even a creative exhibition stand design can draw crowds. But high footfall doesn’t always translate into success. A well-planned and efficiently-executed pre-exhibition marketing strategy can ensure that a high percentage of visitors are from your target demographic so you generate more relevant leads.
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