What you can do maximize your time before, during and after a trade show.Trade shows are an important aspect of any public relations and marketing program. For many, trade shows are an ideal venue to pinpoint prospective customers and network with partners and industry peers. They also offer a large stage to generate the buzz you want by securing a speaking slot, having the right marketing material at the booth or simply by using the trade show’s hashtag to reach a broader audience on social media.
As we lead in to the final months of 2018 and prepare for trade show season, here are some tips on how you can make the most of your time before, during and after a trade show:
1. BE PREPARED AND PUT THE WORK IN BEFOREHAND
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that tradeshows don’t actually start on the first day of the show. There’s so much that can be done days, weeks and even months before a show begins that can make your tradeshow experience a long-lasting success.
First and foremost, you need to understand why you are attending this event – and ensure you are attending the right event. Will current or prospective customers be there? Will your competitors or peers be exhibiting? By being at the right event, you’re reaching your target audience with the right messaging.
You also should set goals for the event and understand what you’re hoping to glean from the show. For example, are you hoping to garner a certain number of sales leads? Are you hoping to staff a certain number of media briefings or on-site demos? Regardless of what your goals are, lay them out beforehand so you have something to strive for – and something to look back on when reviewing your trade show experience.
2. MAKE AN ENTRANCE AND MAINTAIN A PRESENCE
Before and during the show, you should understand how, when and why you can have a presence. There’s a lot of chatter around a show, between companies announcing new products and speculations around what’s to come – so how will you cut through the noise?
There are many options companies can take to have a strong presence at a trade show. Some options include:
- A new product announcement
- An interactive demonstration at the booth
- A fun giveaway
Social media can also be an integral part of your trade show presence. Have posts pre-scheduled to go live during the show, but also do some live posting so you can capture the fun from the floor. Live streaming is a great way to get your social followers involved and provide insight right from the trade show floor for those who can’t attend. Learn more about maximizing your live streaming capabilities for a trade show here.
Last but certainly not least, use this as an opportunity to network. If you’re at the right trade show (which if you read number one above you should be), these are your industry leaders, peers, potential customers and your competitors. Networking is integral so be sure to conquer the floor while you’re there – and have fun while doing so!
3. FOLLOW UP AND EVALUATE
So, the conference was a success! Now, you should have a multitude of opportunities to follow up with prospective customers, peers and industry leaders. Use the plane ride home as a chance to get organized and spend the week or two following a trade show sending out emails, coordinating with the sales team to follow up on leads and send out your LinkedIn connection requests.
You can also take it one step further by using your trade show attendance as an opportunity to push out more content. Develop a blog post on “five things you learned,” or share #ICYMI posts on social inviting your followers to check out the new product you launched at the show. And, be sure to evaluate the trade show so you can make an informed decision on if you’ll attend next year, or if you’d like to have an even bigger presence at the next show.
Interested in learning more about how you can make a splash at your next trade show? Contact us today.