While digital marketing is becoming the medium of choice with its wide reach and omnipresence, one still cannot discount the fact that it lacks personality and heart, as much as it tries to with technology. These characteristics will forever remain as an advantage of one-to-one or personal marketing. It may not match the reach of online but certainly has more depth in messaging and has lengthier air time once it captures a target or market. It is more profound and takes pride in relationship and rapport.Event Marketing
That is why event marketing will never cease to bring quality leads, high-conversion and loyal customers for a business. The face-to-face opportunity on events, such as trade shows gathers together a target segment of prospect and active clients where for a moment is wholly yours.
So, it is important that you continue to include physical events, specifically trade shows on your marketing campaign and strategy.
7 Key Steps to Make Your Participation in Trade Shows a Success
This step never gets old and is second to none. You’ll never get to move, (on the right track at least, without an attainable goal.
Determining your goal is very important, to Marketing guru Simon Sinek’s philosophy of “Why?”, the purpose is very essential in your quest as it determines everything that you’ll do after. Your goal should drive all your decisions. Every time a decision is to be made, go back to your purpose and let it lead you. We all know that goal-setting is the beginning of a plan and achieving goals means we should be able to name the specifics, like decisions and actions to be taken. This model is no different when planning for a trade show.
Plan your course of action and detail all you need to arrive at the goal. Why do you participate in a trade show? Answer that question initially because that will state your purpose and plan thereafter. Who are you reaching out to and how do you intend to approach them? What are the steps you will take and strategies to implement? Some more of the good questions you can ask yourselves.
2. Do it by Invitation
This has to be personal as you would like to arrive sincere to your audience. While everyone is welcome to your event, creating your list of guests and sending invites will give the impression that they are given value by your business. Send invite in advance and as necessary make appointments, too, ahead of time to meet with people who are influential in your industry that can benefit your business. With this, you will know in advance who is coming and you can list down your leads. This is the same way in conducting meetings during a trade show and inviting speakers, do it by invitation.
3. Call to Action
You should be clear about your parameters of success when conducting a trade show, that’s why a call to action should be plotted. What response do you want from your audience? What do you want them to do at your event? Primarily, the goal of setting metrics is to gather leads and you can do it by (suggestions only):
- Booth sign-up or registration.
- Run activities encouraging attendees to participate, such as a contest.
- Hold seminars and forums to gather information and opinions.
- Request attendees to post photos or videos from your event and tag your company or use #hashtags.
- Surveys and interviews in exchange for freebies or discounts
4. Marketers Know Best
A trade show is a marketing event for your company, so putting your best marketing persons or groups can do wonders for you. They are specialists to build your leads. They are tasked to promote your event and your brand both offline and online leading and during the event. So, having the right people manning your booth is crucial and a marketer can do that for you. The presence of salespeople tasked for customer service and conversion is also needed to do the actual selling.
5. Bring Content and Educate on your Brand
Having a booth can establish that initial impression that’s why as an exhibitor/participant you take on the visual design creatively and intuitively. But that is not all of it. How do you make visitors, attendees and guests stay? Bring to them content, talk to them, educate them on who you are and what is your brand all about. Tell them what you do and how you can help them. Remember, that a trade show is already your captured market and moment to make a lasting impression.
Tell them that you are an expert in your field by showing it to them. Don’t just exhibit or put shows during the event, be your own content person. That way you will be perceived as proficient in the industry. During the trade show conduct seminars or workshops, speak on topics of your expertise, invite people who are best in the industry, too. Collaborate.
By having content, your message will come across clearly to your audience. Your staff will be guided, too. They’ll know what to say to visitors and answer relative questions. Your presentations during the talk can open up leads to because of requests for your slides. It means that they listen and are interested. If they are impressed, you might get future invitations, thus will further your connections.
6. Instant Follow Up
Your trade show doesn’t stop when it ends, it actually continues after to sustain the connection built. As you have listed down everyone who visited and participated in your booth and program, you should do an instant follow-up. If possible have someone in your team send personal emails or social media private messages of thank you after each day ends. Do this tastefully and try to do more follow-ups on a regular pace.
7. Evaluate Your Event
You started correctly by planning and setting up your goals. It is just proper to end it rightfully, too, Evaluate. Look at your results and compare it with your parameters. Do they match? Were there not met? Were there unexpected results? Was your purpose achieved with the results obtained? Assess on all these angles. Very much, make sure to document everything in your evaluation as this will be the reference for your next course of action and if participating in such trade show is beneficial. The evaluation will also be your guide on succeeding events.