Promotional Ideas Ahead of the Show
Marketing your presence for the show up to 6 months in advance is advised. Prospects will pay attention to your business if it is seen as an authority in your market; thus creating credibility and driving traffic. Here are some ideas on how to build a buzz and communicate information about what your company will be promoting:
- Create a show landing page on your website specifically for the show or event. Flagging the page with the show name and year not only provides a convenient place for your customers to visit for information, it will also help with your Google rankings and improve SEO.
- Prepare QR codes (Quick Response) and print them in your advertisements, flyers, business cards, envelopes, vehicle wraps, product packaging, and any place you are promoting your show presence. The QR code connects a link to your on-line marketing activities via prospects’ smartphones. Immediate information and gratification. Either promote new products due to be launched or engage in promotional marketing, such as a free iPad2 or other “must have” give-aways. If planning a demo video, record and link it to a QR tag. Getting your prospects to your on-line presence is the essence of good marketing. From there, they will quickly learn about your company and share it with those in their network.
- Create a special group on LinkedIn well ahead of the trade show. A group posting provides relevant information to your customers and prospects about the show, remembering at this time they are researching the show and deciding whether or not to attend. Providing key reasons for them to attend through LinkedIn can also provide a conduit to ask questions and provide thoughts about your products. This not only provides feedback to your planning process, but being on-line, adds to your SEO too. By including keywords for your show allows them to be searchable within LinkedIn, and hence, helps people to find you at the show.
- Step up your Blog activity. Post blogs that draw attention to the show such as a new product launch, a seminar, or a unique offer. You can gather important feedback via comments that may help drive your show strategy and may lead to setting appointments to meet with customers.
- Produce a flyer. You may have a mailing list of customers that you mail out two to three months ahead of the show. A glossy, colorful designed flyer may be kept as a reminder for certain types of social media challenged customers. The flyer may contain key points about your presence at the show, such as booth number, a coupon like a free entry pass, new product information, or a promo give-away contest at the booth like a free iPad2. The flyer can be used as a selling tool by your sales force to hand out a personal invitation, or by key employees as they attend networking groups and mixers.
- Wrap a vehicle. Advertising your business on one or more vehicles ahead of the show is still one of the most effective forms of advertising today. At just $0.35 per thousand impressions compared to $3.56 for other forms of outdoor advertising. Consider designing a stand-out graphic with your logo and message prominently displayed to promote your presence at a trade show. Remember to add your social media icons and a QR Code since keeping visible with a vehicle wrap is as important for strategic parking as it is driving on roads and freeways.
- Budget for free give-aways. A T-Shirt, the latest i-Pad or i-Phone, a vacation, maybe a low priced gimmicky toy; anything that can drive interest to your booth and create visibility to your business during the time of the show. It does not have to be expensive. For example, a plastic bag is probably the most visible product you could print your logo onto. It is also probably the most useful since they help to carry all the collateral given away for free. So why not consider offering a large oversized branded tote bag that is big enough to carry all other bags inside. Voila, you have out-smarted the competition.
SELECTING AND BUILDING THE BOOTH
Your booth design will be chosen depending on your overall show budget, your chosen floor location, and its size. A smaller floor space on the outer edges may warrant a back drop display such as a pop-up, as shown in the picture above. These displays are the most cost effective types available and create a fantastic display and presence for your company in a limited space.
If your booth location has three or four open sides, then consider the truss system design. As you can see from the next picture below, the booth layout offers an impressive feature in many different configuration designs to suit your specific needs. These booths are designed for easy set-up, minimal tools, and a modular design that may be configured in several layout options to provide real economy if used at different shows with differing configurations.
Our final blog article post will cover topics such as trade show design basics, effective activities at the show and most importantly, essential follow up after the show.