8 IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR TRADE SHOW PARTICIPATION AN AWESOME EXPERIENCE:

Each year, each one of us attend, organize or sponsor events that are largely meant to work towards our lead generation goals and strategy. Personally, I believe that events should yield more than just lead generation, they can help accelerate the sales funnel, build brand awareness, develop customer relationships, and more. But normally we all focus on lead generation, hence I’ve mapped out few ideas that can help you achieve your tradeshow goals, based on my learnings.

However, before sharing with you all the ideas, just keep in mind the following:

  • What would your specific audience or attendees desire at each point of contact, what is exactly they are expecting you from the tradeshow?
  • What innovative or out-of-the-box hook can you use to engage and draw your customers?
  • What method will you use to capture lead information?

Let’s understand each point in detail:

  1. MARK YOUR PRESENCE BEFORE THE EVENT WITH A PRE-LANDING PAGE: The best assumption you can make prior to an event is that no one knows that you will be a part of it, so, it is up to you, whether you want to tell them or not. However, it is important to establish your presence and the extent to which you’ll be participating. I suggest you should start your pre-event relationship building about a month and a half in advance, as, earlier than that, you’ll run the risk of people forgetting about the event. Prior to the conference, build a separate landing page that has information regarding expo hall booth location, in-booth hospitality, when your CEO/speaker would be speaking – and a simple form to schedule a meeting with you during the conference, link this page to your website. You can then use e-mails to let people know about your expo.
  1. DEVELOP A PRE-EVENT PROMOTIONAL PLAN: When your attendees reach you out on your stall, they should have a feeling that they atleast know you, that they know you will be a participant and what is your product about. Use email and social media campaigns to build buzz leading up to the event. The more you communicate about your presence, the more likely attendees will remember and make a point to seek you out. Be all over Twitter and Instagram, and share key takeaways from the conference in live time!
  1. DESIGN AN ENTHRALLING TRADEBOOTH: Put all your effort in innovatively designing your booth, make it worth a visit! Though it may not result in lead generation, but, atleast it will give your attendees a reason to visit your booth. Generate positive vibes and feelings from your booth by keeping a smile and welcoming attitude on your face. Try to include a space for sales demos for groups small and large, a coffee bar, and a lounge. Keep your graphics simple, clean, and include messaging that answers attendees’ initial questions.When conceptualizing your booth, try different layouts, consider your event goals, and finalize in-booth activations before signing off on the design.
  1. INVEST IN LEAD SCANNERS OR A DATA COLLECTION TOOL: Invest in good lead scanners, it is worth an investment. With a quick scan of an attendee’s name badge, you’re able to capture an attendee’s full name, title, company, and contact details. However, it involves huge cost, so if you are planning for a budgeted option, try to develop your own method of capturing lead, which will not result into a lot of clutter and at the same time give you the flexibility to collate the data easily. You can make use of i-pads and Google docs.
  1. GIVE A SWAG WHICH IS SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE: And don’t forget about special swag for your customers! Everyone love seeing clients, especially at large industry conferences, so offer a special giveaway just for customers who stopped by your booth – anything which is useful for them, like portable power chargers. Just visiting a booth might be hard for customers, but giving a useful swag will help them make a decision.
  1. CHOOSE YOUR BEST TEAM MEMBERS TO REPRESENT: Not only send your sales people, send experts from your strategy, editorial, and pre-sales team. Sales team is useful when potential clients request in-depth details about the product, because it is their area of expertise, or when your booth became flooded with attendees wanting to know more.  Involve team members who are presentable and possess a thorough knowledge of your product, and also well-versed with your competitor’s product and why yours is better. A good team result in good presentation at the booth and ultimately result in a good lead generation.
  1. CALL-TO-ACTION IS MUST: It is most important, don’t forget a call-to-action and information on how the recipient can get in touch. Since there is a lot going on at conferences, a follow-up email to the recipient can be a great reminder to act on the call-to-action before the conference ends.
  1. PLAN AN EVENT AROUND THE EVENT: It is easy and not so strange as it sounds, plan a small get-together of attendees on the night before the event and choose a venue which is near to their hotel, make it casual, plan a drop to the hotel. You can also plan a keynote speech by someone from the top position of your company or small games or activities to keep attendees engaged.

A QUICK WRAP-UP:

 I hope some of these ideas help with your trade show strategy, or at least give you a place to start. At the end of the day, the best ideas are the ones that will resonate with the conference audience and inspire valuable leads to engaging with you and your brand.