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.

Share

Do New Shiny Objects Excuse Bad Old Trade Show Exhibiting Behavior?

CES Numbers-sm When new shiny objects take center stage does it matter how well trade show exhibitors behave?

Did exhibitors at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014), one of the largest shows in the world, make the same old exhibiting mistakes they commit at every show they attend?

According to an infographic of CES 2014 by Numbers, the social buzz from this mammoth show reached the equivalent of 40 percent of the world’s population – quite impressive to say the least. But how impressive were the more than 3,000 exhibitors? Did attendees walk away from the booths they visited wowed by people rather than shiny new objects?

Chances are that many of the exhibitors were less than well-prepared for their extremely stressful and demanding time on the show floor.

Wander the show floor at any major event and you are sure to come across numerous exhibitors who don’t have any idea of the right way to connect with their booth visitors, or precisely what they should be doing to optimize their show investment.

Regrettably, a lot of the giants in the industry are amongst the worst offenders. Company sales reps, and managers often stand about chitchatting with their co-workers, completely disregarding booth visitors. Alternatively, when they do interact, they’re more concerned about giving their sales spiel rather than taking time to ask questions to uncover exactly what their visitor is interested in.

This just shows an apparent lack of trade show training, as well as the basics smart exhibitors must have to take full advantage of their time on the trade show floorEffective trade show selling relies, not just on innovative products and services, but most of all, on the way booth staffers present them, and their company

Working a trade show demands a specific combination of expertise. Smart, experienced exhibitors recognize they need to ask questions and listen to their prospects. People attend shows looking for solutions to specific business challenges. If you’re more interested in getting your message out, you’ll never even uncover what’s going on in your prospect’s environment, much less be in a position to provide a possible solution.

The marketplace is full of competitive new shiny objects, so if your visitors don’t feel you’re interested in helping them, they’ll not tolerate bad old trade show exhibiting behavior, and just move on to track down someone who is more customer-centric.

With the new trade show season about to kick into gear, it’s time to ramp up your exhibiting skills.

Share

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.

Share