Whether you’re just starting out in your career or have been in the industry for years, trade shows are a great way to meet new customers. However, they can also be challenging and not as profitable as they should be.
A successful trade show marketing campaign requires careful planning and preparation; if you don’t take the right steps before exhibiting at an event, your ROI will suffer as a result.
In this guide we’ll outline some of the best ways to optimize your ROI during a trade show so that you start generating leads from day one!
1. Come up with a trade show marketing budget
Before you begin to plan your trade show, you need to know how much money you can spend on it. If you don’t have an exact idea of what your trade show costs will be and how long that budget will last for, then there’s no way for you to determine whether or not the event was successful or not.
Think about all of the expenses involved in attending a show: booth materials, shipping costs, travel expenses, hotel accommodations and any other costs associated with flying into another city (parking fees), etc.
Once all these factors are calculated into your total cost per event, divide this number by the number of attendees at each event – this will give you an idea of how much each person actually spent on average when visiting that specific venue.
2. Showcase your company branding
Make sure your booth is branded with your company logo. You want visitors to know who you are, so use it on all signage and promotional materials.
Use the same logo on all business cards, pens and other giveaways like mugs or notepads that people can take home with them after meeting at an event booth.
3. Connect with customers through social media
Connect with customers through social media. Social media is the perfect tool to help you connect with your audience, who may be at the event or following from afar.
Using hashtags to identify your brand, offer special promotional offers and share photos and videos from the trade show can all help to boost engagement for attendees who aren’t able to attend in person.
4. Train your employees about your products and services
You should train your employees about your products and services prior to the trade show so that they are prepared to answer questions, engage with customers and be friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. While attendees may not always have the time or desire to learn more about your business during the event, it’s important for them to feel like they can trust you.
If customers are able to get answers from someone who knows what they’re talking about at a booth instead of just getting fed a “sales pitch“, then it will increase their likelihood of purchasing something from you at some point in the future.
5. Optimize your trade show booth
Don’t forget to optimize your booth, too. For example, take full advantage of the space you have by hiring a large format printing company to print your banners and signs.
If you are going to use a trade show display company or a trade show marketing agency, make sure they know what they are doing so they can guide you through this process effectively. The same goes for hiring a trade show banner printing company: hire one that knows what they’re doing!
6. Update your website for the trade show
Update your website with new information. If you’re attending a tradeshow, you should be updating your website to reflect the trade show. This is a great time to add new content that highlights information about the show and its benefits to potential attendees.
Update your website with links to registration pages, agenda pages and exhibitor directories for easy access by potential attendees who are interested in attending similar events in the future!
7. Capture leads during the trade show by collecting contact information
Use a tablet or mobile device to collect information. There are several ways that you can do this, including using a sign-up sheet and having booth attendants collecting information.
A great way to capture leads is with a tablet or mobile device because they are easy to use, interactive and engaging for attendees at your booth. The main thing is that they provide a personal experience for each individual who wants to learn more about what you have to offer them.
Use a QR code scanner app on your phone or tablet. This will allow you to scan their business cards and add contacts directly into your CRM from the show floor itself!
8. Follow up through email communication with customers you met at the tradeshow
One of the most important things you can do after a tradeshow is follow up with customers. You want to make sure that they know you are still in business and have their best interests at heart.
Wait until after the show has ended to send an email outlining next steps in the sales process, such as:
- when you expect to hear back from them
- if they need any additional information from your company (e.g., more information on products/services)
It’s also important to remember that trade shows are all about the experience, not just a place for you to sell your products. You have an opportunity to connect with customers, build relationships, and make new connections that will help your business grow in the future.
So don’t forget about the little things—like branding or social media marketing—that can make a big difference in how people perceive your brand at a show like this one!