Participating in a trade show can be an expensive marketing tactic, but it can bring great returns—how many times do you get to present your wares and services in a room packed to the gills with highly-qualified prospects and your target market? But, just setting up a booth and waiting for potential clients to pour in is not enough…would be great if it was. You want to maximize your time there and make the biggest impact possible. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Choose Sales Team Carefully and Train Properly
Your trade show marketing efforts will only be as good as the team you have brought with you. It is important to choose the right people for maximum impact. Your best bet is your people who are friendly and engaging, but are a bit aggressive. In-depth product knowledge is essential so they can provide intelligent answers to prospect questions. Last, and perhaps most importantly, you want to train them well on qualifying leads—let them know what questions to ask to determine whether they should continue with this prospect or know when to politely dismiss them.
Consider a Booth Tour
If you have a lot going on in your booth, such as multiple demos or multiple solutions, a guided tour might be a good idea. This way, you make sure the prospect sees all the things you want them to see and gets all the information you want them to get. Once the tour guide gives them the run-through, prospects can go back to the individual stations of interest and talk more in-depth with your sales team.
Choose the Right Promotional Items
Promotional items are a great way to increase brand awareness and stay in the consciousness of potential new clients. People love free stuff, but you do not just want to slap your name and website on any old product and call it a day. You want to choose your items carefully. First and foremost, you want to get clear on the purpose of the promotional item. Are you simply looking to increase awareness? Are you hoping to get the word out about a new product or service in particular? You want to choose something useful and that can be use for the long-term. Branded water bottles are great for the moment but will get chucked once they are done.
Business theater is another effective strategy since it helps get your message out to a larger number of people. You need to dedicate a part of your booth to this activity and provide seating. On a set schedule, someone –ideally a professional engager—will deliver a scripted overview about your company and the products and services you provide. It typically lasts about seven to nine minutes. You should combine this with a pull-through strategy, such as a product demo, which helps bring in qualified leads. At this point, you and your sales team can work your magic on people truly interested in what your company is offering.