Attending trade shows is an excellent way for companies to generate new business. Research shows they create brand awareness and new leads for 70% of participating American companies.
Ensuring you’re adequately promoting your products or services is essential when participating in a tradeshow. If you’re not making the most of your trade show marketing, you could miss out on many new leads.
A solid and strategic marketing plan can significantly affect how new and old customers view your business. For instance, you want your trade show marketing to boost your brand awareness and expose you to new audiences.
If this sounds like valuable information to you, then keep reading. Here’s how to make the most out of marketing at trade shows.
What Is a Trade Show?
A trade show is an industry exhibition where various businesses gather to showcase their trade, products, or services. A trade show occurs at a specialized venue where visitors purchase tickets to gain access. Typically, a trade show is held over several days, and visitors can buy tickets for individual days or access for the entire duration.
Each participating business is given a floor space to decorate themselves as they wish. Exhibit space is often available in several sizes, so companies of all sizes can attend.
Trade shows are sometimes open to the general public but are often restricted to industry professionals. This is because trade shows are typically B2B rather than B2C, and the show needs to attract the right audience for the exhibitors. Essentially, a trade show aims to showcase your services or products to customers who can use them.
Essential Steps to Trade Show Marketing
Now that you know what a trade show is and its primary purpose, let’s look at how trade show marketing works. Here are some essential steps your business can take to make the most of your marketing strategy.
1. Determine Your Goals
The first thing you need to do when figuring out your trade show marketing plan is to determine your goals. Setting goals is vital for any business when spending a lot of money. When figuring out your goals, consider why you’re attending trade shows.
Do you want to increase sales by connecting with B2B customers? Or are you trying to market a new product or service? You may also participate in trade shows to see what other industry professionals are doing.
You may be attending these events for many reasons, but it’s important to outline them before you begin anything.
- Pro Tip: Make your goals realistic so you have a higher chance of success
2. Locate Relevant Trade Shows
Next, while it may be tempting to insert yourself into every trade show, you need to stick to industry-specific shows. There is no point in attending a boating expo if your business relates to arts and crafts. In this instance, you’ll want to seek out trade shows related to hobbies and home DIY.
When you’re at the correct tradeshow, you have a better chance of connecting directly with your client because you’re all there for the same reasons. Furthermore, attending industry-relevant trade shows means meeting new vendors and building new working relationships.
3. Define Your Marketing Budget
Another factor you want to consider when putting together your trade show marketing plan is to define what budget you have available. Not every company has the finances to attend and market for every show. This is why it’s essential to determine what finances you can spend before you begin anything.
You need to consider several cost factors when determining how much money you have to spend on trade show marketing. For example, factoring in how much it costs to have a stand at the trade show before any marketing takes place. Once you know this, you can decide how to market your exhibit. You have several options, each with its own costs, such as advertising in:
- Trade show publications
- Trade show news bulletins (i.e., online or on the radio)
- Trade show magazines
4. Create a Marketing Timeline
The next step in maximizing your trade show experience is to create a marketing timeline. While advertising at the show itself is vital, you must prepare sufficiently. Trade show marketing is more than just advertising at the time of the event; instead, it begins long before and continues even after the event is over.
This is why having a marketing timeline can make a difference in your results. For example, you must decide when your company will make announcements, whether or not via email or social media, what to include in your email newsletters, etc. Having a plan means you don’t waste money while figuring out what you’re doing.
5. Ensure Your Ready
The final step to ensure you’re making the most out of your trade show marketing plan is to be ready when the event date arrives. Up to now, you’ve spent significant time and money hyping up your attendance at the trade show. You will have wasted all your previous efforts if you’re not ready when the trade show date arrives.
Instead, make sure you have everything you need. This includes advertising materials like brochures, business cards, QR codes, posters, banners, company merchandise, etc. You’ll get a chance to decorate your exhibition space as you wish before the show opens to the public, so have everything ready to go to ensure you have a smooth setup.
Make Trade Shows Work For You
Trade shows are an excellent way for businesses to meet new vendors, network, and reach a wider audience. These are all very important to grow your business. Understanding trade show marketing tactics before you begin is essential if you want your marketing to be effective.
To maximize your trade show experience, ensure you determine your goals, find relevant trade shows to attend, define a marketing budget so you know how much you can afford, build a marketing timeline and be ready for opening.
We at SourceGroup are here to fulfill your trade show marketing needs, so contact us today. With over a decade of experience, we deliver excellent service every time.