Best Practices for Better B2C Trade Show ROI

It’s About What You Learn and the Contacts You Make

Trade shows are worth the amount of planning required to make sure your exhibition is successful. There can be a lot to gain from promoting your product in person to your target market. A trade show is an exhibition for businesses in a specific industry to showcase and exhibit their new products and services. Generally, trade shows are not accessible to the public and are attended by company representatives and members of the press.

Get the most out of your trade show experience

Thorough brainstorming, analysis, and understanding of your overall trade show marketing strategy is key to defining and expressing the true purpose of your exhibition. Let’s take a look at a few trade show objectives worth achieving:

Gain An Edge On Your Competition

Make sure your team is ready to deliver the best in-person experience for potential customers and gather intelligence on your competition.

Being close to other businesses selling to the same crowd is a bonus. It provides you the opportunity to examine what is new and exciting in the marketplace, so you can come up with a strategy for neutralizing it.

Increase Press Coverage

Let’s get the press talking about your products. Before the trade show, release a well-crafted press release and publish a few social media alerts to garner some attention. At the trade show, be sure your team is ready to provide a media kit or promotional items.

If you can land a few interviews, or even mentions in a larger story, the trade show becomes one of the most inexpensive ways to do PR and marketing.

Improve Trade Show Booth Experience
Photo by Sebastien Roy

Form Strategic Partnerships

The primary goals of exhibiting at a trade show are to strengthen your brand within your industry and promote your product and services in front of a focused audience.

Trade shows are also an excellent place to form strategic partnerships with other entrepreneurs who are producing companion products and services to yours. With a bit of creativity, you can take these potential competitors and merge ideas to make both of your companies more successful than they were before.

Leverage Social Media

This can be another opportunity to cost-effectively create awareness around your products and services. The competition, trade show producers and media are already covering the event. Consumers and other businesses are tweeting about it, and attendees are searching for news surrounding it.

Now your “owned” press coverage, tweets, and blog posts will show up in searches at an increased rate. People will pay attention to your brand because it is part of the larger story.

Trade Show Marketing Strategies

Improve Lead Capture

The most significant trade show benefits are the potential to gather a large number of qualified leads from an audience that is likely to have an interest in your goods or services. To streamline this process, you can consider having QR codes associated to social media accounts and lead generation pages, requesting contact information.

Make it clear that you’ll be contacting your leads after the show.  Make sure to follow up with the candidates most likely to buy while the event is still fresh in their mind.

Continuous Improvement

Preparing for a trade show has a way of focusing effort. As you move closer to your goal of exhibiting at a trade show, you discover your deliverables include case studies, positioning statements, product development, media kits, and a streamlined sale cycle. Deadlines most always force improvement in a company.

Before you exhibit at a show, determine what you need to get out of it to make it worthwhile. Think about items like sales leads, press coverage, new customers, and strategic partnerships. Set firm goals, and continuously evaluate them so that every event is a building block for your business.

“81% of trade show attendees surveyed said they had buying authority; to benefit from this moment, you’ll need to invest heavily in early outreach.”

Get Noticed At A Trade Show!

Delanie Olsen Event Marketing Specialist

Delanie Olsen -Marketing Specialist

Avoid having people pass you by at the big show. With some thoughtful planning, you can stand out and capture the attention of potential customers.

Start before the show. A few weeks before the show, start publishing social media posts and sending email blasts that inform your contacts that your booth will be worth visiting. Create content that will get them excited to see you!

Offer an interactive experience: Avoid the standing sales pitch and be ready to offer an activity such as a game or a product demo.

Build an event within your trade show experience for attendees. Engage with users on social, email, and through PR efforts before the trade show by advertising a happy hour, you are hosting or that you will be giving out donuts at 9 AM each day of the trade show. Create an experience aside from the trade show that they will not forget.

With precise execution, your B2C trade show marketing strategy will improve your trade show ROI.

Let’s plan!

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