Pre-Tradeshow Marketing Tips
January 31st, 2013
You had your trade show booth graphics updated. You prepared some great brochures and educational hand-outs. You have some fun and interesting giveaways for people that stop by your booth.
All that’s left to do is get to the event and setup, right?
For many trade show and conference attendees that is the approach. Just make sure the booth and handouts look great and wait for people to come by to learn all about your products or services. Unfortunately, if you follow this approach you’re going to leave a lot of business on the table—business that your competitors will be glad to scoop up!
If you truly want to make your next tradeshow a success, here are a few key things you can do:
Secure the attendee list before the show.
For most events, the attendee registration list is available for sponsors—you just need to ask for it! Once you have it, put it to good use:
Send a personal letter.
Consider sending a personal letter to all attendees introducing your company and services. Be sure to highlight your booth number, the value you offer, and any special giveaway or takeaway pieces you’re offering.
Connect through LinkedIn.
Find attendees on LinkedIn and send personal invites to connect. Reference the fact that you’ll be attending the same event and would like to connect.
Send 1:1 email invitations.
Find the attendees/companies that you want to do business with and send personal meeting invitations. The key is to make sure you offer them something of value and don’t make the email a sales pitch.
Let people know you’re attending.
Announce that you’re attending the tradeshow on your company website, blog, LinkedIn Groups, etc. You can also add a note in your email signature. Ask current clients and prospects if they’re attending and schedule appointments ahead of time. The more people that know you’re attending, the more opportunity and traffic you’ll have.
At just about every tradeshow you’ll see booth vendors tethered to their displays—even when there is no one on the show floor. Don’t tie yourself down! Go to the workshops, attend the keynote speaker sessions, and mingle. You’ll find that some of the best conversations and relationships you make come from sitting next to other attendees.
Think about ways you can turn your booth into a destination that everyone on the show floor needs to stop at. This could be done through an amazing giveaway—something that everyone has to stop by to get. Maybe you hire a masseur to provide five minute massages in your booth. You could hire an artist to draw caricatures. One of the biggest draws we’ve seen is a magician that does amazing tricks in the booth. Once a small crowd gathers it will turn into a big crowd in a hurry!
Provide take home value.
For many tradeshows, the sale doesn’t happen right on the tradeshow floor. So, you need to offer something with take home value that keeps your business top-of-mind. This is often a mix of something educational about your product or service and something a bit more fun and interesting like a promotional item. If you’re looking for some great ideas in this area just give us call at 1.866.965.9729 and we would be happy to offer some suggestions.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful for your next tradeshow. Just remember, the key to a successful tradeshow starts well before the event and it continues well after too. In our next post, we’ll share some tips and best practices for what to do after the event.
Looking for great giveaway ideas?
At This Promo Works, we specialize in helping companies stay top-of-mind with clients and prospects. Contact us today and we would be happy to share specific examples of companies that have used tradeshows and giveaways to build recognition and drive new business.
Need new a trade display?
We work with the most respected display partners in the country and have a full line of new trade show displays available for 2013. Call us today to learn more!
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