One of the best ways to showcase your brand and/or product is to participate at a trade show – you get 2.2 attendees per square foot, and luring them into your booth and away from competitors is what your exhibit is supposed to be about! Keep in mind that 38% of attendees state that visiting exhibits influences their purchase intent.
Who goes to trade shows?
Basically, people interested in a certain industry or product category: from commodity and raw material suppliers, to manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers and customers. As well as, competitors or potential partners.
- 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. (Source: CEIR: Thе Sреnd Dесіѕіоn:Anаlуzіng Hоw Exhіbіtѕ Fіt Into the Ovеrаll Marketing)
- 64% of trade show attendees are not customers of the exhibits they visit, so they are likely to be new opportunities for your brand! (Source: http://www.exhibitsurveys.com/trends)
- 56% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to attend an exhibition. Get people from across the nation (or even from around the world) gathered towards your industry. (Source: http://www.exhibitsurveys.com/trends)
- 46% of people who go to a trade show attend no other events during the year. So that specific trade show is the only face-to-face opportunity with them. (Source: http://www.exhibitsurveys.com/trends)
- 46% of trade show attendees are in executive or upper management roles. Cease the day! (Source: CEIR: The Role and Value of Face to Face)
Why exhibit at a trade show?
When showcasing a brand at a tradeshow, 60% of exhibitors value the ability to see tons of leads and customers at the same time; 51% of exhibitors value face-to-face meetings with leads and customers; and 47% value the ability to meet with a variety of players face to face, such as customers, suppliers and resellers.
Keep in mind that meeting a prospective customer at an exhibition versus in the field saves an organization $943! More importantly, it takes an average of 4.5 sales calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 sales calls to close a sale with a lead from an exhibition.
On average attendees spend 9.5 hours at the exhibit floor, which is the window of opportunity that you have to build or strengthen business relationships or seal deals with new and former clients. It is imperative to have a well-planned strategy to take advantage of this potentially great brand exposure and translate it into tangible sales leads.
What should you do before and during the event?
- Send invitations. Use direct mail or e-mail, and make it personalized to increase your chances.
- Publish on Social media: Post and tweet several times, do it in advance, and reply to every comment.
- Post on your Blog: Write it 2 or 3 weeks in advance and give people a reason to visit your stand.
- Be a sponsor: Make sure your brand will be featured.
- Schedule demos or meetings: Treat your VIP clients to a personalized review of your new product offerings, or give them a chance to meet exclusively with top management.
Remember to communicate the location and date(s) of the trade show and where your booth can be found.
How do you increase engagement?
Keep in mind that the #1 reason for attending trade shows is to see new products. 92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new products.
49% of trade show attendees plan to buy one or more of the products/services exhibited, so it should not come as a surprise when you close several deals at a trade show.
65% of attendees said events help them have a greater understanding of a product or service. Personal contact with a brand or product is far stronger than digital efforts and/or TV advertising as methods of recognizing and learning about a brand.
Engage them with:
- Games or Competitions
- Exclusive offers
- Product Launching
- Showcase or feature products that have been recently updated
- Plan immersive experiences with your products
How do you choose the best location?
- Choose a high traffic spot, but not a crowded one. Getting natural traffic to your booth from high traffic alleys is easier than struggling to get someone into your stand in corners where no one shows up. Most people wander around attendee registration areas, entrance and exit points, conference spaces, event stages, meeting rooms and dining stations. However, bathroom areas should be avoided as people there have different priorities.
- Be aware of key competitors around you and how they exhibit. Avoid positioning your brand next to key competitors who are likely to have larger, more dynamic displays than yours.
How do you make your booth alluring?
- Identify your look: aggressive, fun, sweet, fresh, impressive
- Give your creative team a brief of your exhibit objectives and brand manual.
- Generate impact through graphic elements: tell a story and don’t use too much text.
- Design should not compete with the brand. Use neutral colors with your frame or hardware.
- Frame your booth with a “contrast platform” – high-contrast flooring, for example.
- Make sure your booth has all the interactive devices (monitors, touch screens, interactive projections, etc) and the right displays for contest, games and giveaways.
- Have amenities such as charging stations or a nice place to sit down, but remember to leave a special place to engage in longer conversations with your best visitors.
How do you train the right staff?
- Your staff should be consistent with your brand not just with the way they look, but the proper language and terms.
- Booth staff must always be in welcome mode, this means standing up and facing the isles.
- External staff must be trained equally well so no lead is lost.
- Practice your elevator pitch, catch phrases and key information.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks for your team.
- Don’t forget to smile!
These are the keys to ensure you have a return on your investment by attracting the right audience to the right event so you can close deals, position your brand, and continue to have loyal, returning customers. Give it a go!
If you want to know more, check out our e-book on How to Attract Traffic to your Booth.