5 Trade Show Marketing Solutions to Solve Social Media and “Face to Face” Challenges

non-social-generationHow many times do you encounter these selling challenges?

• Getting a “face to face” meeting with prospects;
• Presenting “your product advantages” to a client who currently deals with a competitor;
• Getting through to decision makers and even clients who are increasingly hard-to-reach?

Fortunately, and unlike social media, trade shows provide an immediate and effective solution to these challenges.
Trade shows are attended by decision makers who come specifically to see a wide range of solutions, new products as well as those being offered by companies they don’t currently deal with. A trade show allows you to physically demonstrate solutions and advantages that prospects may not be receiving from their current supplier.

Use the following five trade show marketing keys to increase your exhibiting success:

1. Let People Know You Are Attending and Book Appointments.

Only 20% of companies participating in trade show have a pre-show marketing program. List the shows you’re attending on your company web site, as well as in your signature line at the bottom of all outgoing emails. At a trade show make it a policy to never eat alone. Before the show, make sure you invite key clients to every meal of the day so you get  the “face to face” time to deepen relationships, and gain insights into their business.

2. Know What Your Client’s Are Looking For

Clients within a particular industry are likely to have similar requirements. Your exhibit should focus on these common challenges and illustrate how your company has a strategy or product to answer their concerns. At some shows having technical staff or senior management on the floor can help attract serious buyers.

3. Qualify Quickly.

According to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research (CEIR) the average trade show booth visitor will spend three minutes or less in your exhibit. This means that you should develop a specific set of questions to qualify a visitor to explore their need for your products/services. Once qualified, you then need to collect their contact information and create a plan for future interaction.

4. A Better Approach to Brochures.

According to trade show research, 72% of literature received at a show is discarded before leaving the building, or while packing bags for home. A better approach is to offer a “green alternative” by emailing brochures to a clients inbox. Along with being good for the environment, it allows you to collect their contact information, and further qualify their interest in your products.

5. Post Show Follow-Up.

Undoubtedly, when you return to the office after a show you have work that has “piled up” in your absence. Despite this, it’s critical you schedule a time to follow-up on those hard earned show leads before they turn cold, or are contacted by your competitors who also attended the show.

Implementing these five strategies will definitely help increase your exhibiting success.

Guest post blog by Brian Keobke, an expert on Exhibit Marketing, who has earned the CME designation, one of the highest level of professional achievement available in the exhibit industry. To schedule a review of your exhibit marketing or discuss trade show marketing solutions contact Brian by phone 604-276-2366 or 1-800-663-1737 email.

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The Top 5 Trade Show Marketing Predictions for 2014

Fresh startGiven that we’ve started a brand new year, now is the perfect time to make a fresh start and plan a strategy for your 2014  trade show marketing campaign.
What’s 2014 going to bring and how well will we do are often questions we wish we could have answered at the beginning of the year, rather than at the end, when opportunities may well have passed us by. Going through many of the business marketing predictions for 2014, here are the top five trade show marketing predictions I foresee as serious possibilities that could impact your trade show marketing:

Prediction #1: Video
Video is gaining momentum to the point that pundits believe it’s a vital component of any marketing, no matter what size your organization or what you sell. YouTube ranks second in people’s searches for information. Since video shows up in 70 percent of the top 100 search results listings, and viewers are 64-85% more inclined to buy after seeing a product video – you’d be crazy to overlook this powerful marketing tool.

How can you integrate video into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #2: Webinars
Webinars have become one of the best ways to generate numerous interested prospects for your sales team. Done properly, they allow you to educate your target audience, providing content that helps solve problems, which in turn drives awareness to your products/services. This helps to establish you as a trusted partner, not just a vendor pushing your wares.

How can you integrate webinars into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #3: Niche marketing
Niche marketing is fast becoming the best way to communicate with your target market. Because of the incredible noise and plethora of information in today’s marketplace, people are looking for more specific ways to find the facts they are most interested in.

How can you integrate niche marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #4: Content marketing

Content marketing will continue to excel as a key information sharing medium for companies to speak to their target audience. “Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.” Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute.

Currently 9 in 10 organizations market content; over 27 million pieces of content are shared daily; every month 329 million people read blogs. Resource: Social Media Today

How can you integrate content marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Prediction #5: Mobile
Mobile usage is growing daily. The following statistics speak for themselves:
• 91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone
• 56% of people own a smart phone
• 50% of mobile phone users, use mobile as their primary Internet source
• 80% of time on mobile is spent inside apps
• 72% of tablet owners purchase online from their tablets each week
Resource: Super Monitoring

How can you integrate mobile marketing into your 2014 trade show marketing strategy?

Imagine if you truly embrace and add just one of these powerful trade show marketing predictions into your 2014 trade show marketing plan, how much more effective might your exhibiting results be?

What’s your 2014 trade show marketing prediction? Please add your comments below.

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Guest Blog: 7 Keys to Designing the Perfect Exhibit Display

Creating a lasting impression on people through your exhibit display is becoming increasingly vital in the ever competitive world of trade shows and exhibitions. First impressions do count massively when attracting people to your exhibit display, even if your company has superior products/services. Initial negative impressions from a poor exhibit display might detract potential customers – but not to worry! These seven key ingredients can help you design an eye catching exhibit display that will inundate you with visitors:

1)    Marketing aims and/or exhibiting goals
First of all, it is worth considering what kind of message you wish to communicate through your display, as well as your reasons for exhibiting at the show. Make sure you hang on to these reasons throughout the whole process! Even the most perfect exhibit display might fall at the last hurdle if it doesn’t efficiently convey your aims, image or brand values. Consider what kind of image you want your design to convey – is your company cutting-edge, functional, silly?

2)    Target audience
Make sure to keep your target audience in mind when designing your exhibit display. You need to steer your concept towards what your customer base wants – there’s no use creating a display that attracts the wrong prospects.

3)    Maximizing space
Exhibit displays ought to take full advantage of your allocated space, so ensure that you find out the dimensions from the organizers before entering the design process. Show shows will allow you to build exhibit displays up to 20 feet in height, so make sure to capitalize on such allocations so as to outdo your competitors. Flaunt your logo across the hall by creating signage with a high arch, or by having your brand featured on a central tower or on a top truss. To assist with the flow of your exhibit display, make sure there are no obstructions blocking your visitors from seeing your brand, and try to keep meeting areas to the back.

4)    Text
When it comes to text on an exhibit display, less is most certainly more. Stay as brief and succinct as possible, remembering that you don’t need to use full paragraphs or sentences when a few words will do. Use fonts large and legible enough to be seen from a distance, making sure that they are in line with your brand image. Place any text high up so as to avoid it being blocked by people visiting your booth.

5)    Graphics
The phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ couldn’t be more appropriate when it comes to exhibit displays. The correct use of images can help to convey complex ideas quickly and effectively without the need for text. Large scale images can be particularly successful – bear in mind that your target audience will use your company logo and images to confirm your business’ identity. As with text, remember to consider image placement in order to ensure that they can be seen from a distance without being obscured.

6)    Lighting
Adding lighting to your display is a key requirement for increasing traffic and ensuring that your message is clear. On a standard level, lighting allows potential customers to clearly read your display and its message. On a deeper level, however, it can convey a mood or atmosphere, and even highlight a particular area of an exhibit display, such as a new service or product.
You could for example use angled light boxes at the entrance to your display, or even adapt colored lighting to create a particular mood you’re after.

7)    Materials
Using the right material will help reinforce your brand, creating a dazzling design that can attract your target audience to your display. For innovative and forward thinking companies, try using brushed aluminum panels or silver and chrome details to create a contemporary look. For more traditional and corporate businesses, you should opt for richer wood tones. It’s also worth considering the use of fabric, i.e. fabric dividers which are perfect for separating specific areas apart.

Incorporate these tips into your design and you should be set to create an effective, attractive, and perfect exhibit display!

Guest article by Amy Henderson, writer on marketing businesses through trade shows, display stands and exhibition stands for Marler Haley.
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