Attending exhibitions and trade shows can be an excellent way of sourcing sales and leads. It allows you to discuss your product or solution directly with your target market and perhaps generate a follow-on meeting or call with prospective buyers. However, attending trade shows can be a costly venture. The cost of flights, accommodation, marketing collateral and the exhibition space can all add up to a hefty bill. Getting the best possible ROI from the event is key so we have put together 5 top tips to help you get the most from attending a trade show or exhibition:
#1 First Impressions Count
Have you ever made a bad first impression? Great first impressions are key in all walks of life and the same sentiment rings true when it comes to first impressions in the business environment.
Buyers are attracted to aesthetically pleasing booths. Using colours and good designs for your booth is key. Buyers will make instant assessments of your capabilities and offerings just by the look of your booth. So, make sure your booth looks good, is easy to see and has a clear message!
#2 Contests and Promotions
One way to encourage prospective buyers to give you a business card to contact information is to have a competition. In exchange for a business card, for example, the buyer would be entered into a draw for a prize such as a gift voucher, a weekend away, chocolate hamper etc.
It may be a good idea to qualify the lead before you tell them about your competition. This way, after the event, you should have a list of qualified leads with their contact details included which will make lead nurturing possible.
#3 Branded Gifts
Branded gifts are a key tool for keeping your company in the mind of the buyer after the event has taken place. Choosing the right promotional products to give away at the event is key.
The most popular giveaways at trade shows or exhibitions tend to be USB/thumb drives, power-banks, pens and notepads. These are functional gifts that buyers can use at the event and after the event has taken place. Your gifts should include some contact information to make it easy for your prospective buyers if they want to contact you after the trade show or exhibition.
#4 Create an Experience to Attract Interest
If you have a tangible product which is easy to demo at events such as this, it makes attracting interest to the booth easier. However, if you do not, it may be worth creating a unique experience to attract people to your stand.
Charity Water, for example, invite booth visitors to walk across a 50 yard platform with two 40lb jugs of water. Most visitors struggle to complete this task. Booth visitors are exposed to how difficult this task would be for people in developing nations, who have to carry jugs like these for miles in their quest for water. This creates a real, long-lasting experience in people’s minds and that is a key goal for every brand.
#5 Create a Post-Event Plan
This is perhaps the most crucial step of all when attending trade shows and exhibitions. You have spent a considerable amount of money and time attending the event and now it is time to get some reward from it. This is where you see the ROI of attending such an event.
There should be a clear strategy and an action plan created on how and when to follow up with these leads. Whoever has had an initial conversation with the lead should be the one to follow up and keep the lead warm. This makes the experience personal for the lead, rather than a ‘catch all’ email which is quite impersonal and unlikely to get a response. The follow-up process should be documented and managed to ensure your company gets the best possible ROI from the event.
Are you attending Customer Contact Week? Interested in meeting with the leading Irish companies in CX? Drop by our booth at stand 530 or contact us by clicking here.