Trade shows are a key component to almost any marketing strategy. Whether you are an exhibitor or just visiting, a trade show is a great place to network and build new business relationships.
To get the most out of a trade show, it is important to have a clear strategy in mind, which is why we are here to help. Here are five simple tips to make the most of your trade show experience:
- Do your homework – Prior to the event, study the exhibitor list and seminar lineup for potential customers or vendors and determine whom you would most like to meet. Reach out to your ideal list of companies via email, include your booth number and request to schedule a meeting.
- Entice attendees – Chances are every exhibitor is giving away the same generic promotional materials, from pens to notebooks to duffle bags or everybody’s new favorite – an iPad. Offer attendees something they can’t get anywhere else. For instance, have them drop a business card at your booth and raffle off something like an all-inclusive trip to a luxury resort. This way, you can collect business cards and differentiate yourself from the competition at the same time.
- Social engagement – Today, the use of social media is critical to trade show success. Whether you are messaging attendees from LinkedIn, or tweeting about the conference using the official hashtag, it is another differentiator that is simple and free.
- Qualify leads – Keep business cards on you at all times. Hand them to everyone you meet and ask for their business card in return. Immediately following the conversation, write notes on their card to qualify them. This will come in handy during the follow up process.
- Follow up – Speaking of the follow up, it is important to respond to leads quickly. Instead of forming a mountain of business cards on your desk, sort them in order of the most qualified candidates. Follow up with an email, LinkedIn message or phone call as soon as possible.
A trade show can be a massive undertaking, but if you follow these simple tips, your experience is sure to be a huge success!