Let's be honest... exhibiting at a trade show can be expensive. So make sure you maximize your efforts at the trade show to ensure you're getting the best value and return on investment, even after the show is over.
You only have a few quick seconds to catch someone's attention and make a lasting impression. Make sure your signage is memorable, both in design and in message. Information needs to be provided correctly, the design should pop and follow your company's branding standards, the layout of the booth should entice attendees to come learn more. Interactive displays and contests or sweepstakes are always a great idea, and provide some freebies that the attendees will want to use (keeping your name in front of them).
Have you noticed how trade show attendees frequently have their heads buried in their phones as they're walking around the trade show floor? Many of them are using social media... so why aren't you? Provide your social media information to connect with your leads, provide updates throughout the day on your social media accounts, and provide opportunities to interract by providing enticing questions, contests, or Q&A. Post photos and ask your attendees to do the same, and ask them to tag you or use a predetermined #hashtag.
Although we would love to think that every lead we get excited about at a trade show will follow up after the show, the reality is that it just doesn't work that way. A solid lead generation strategy needs to be implemented to ensure you truly benefit from your trade show presence. Collect business cards when attendees enter a contest or giveaway in your booth, offer to email free information or exclusive promotions, or provide free evaluations right in your booth. This way, you can reach back out to them to keep the conversation going, and if you follow the tips listed above, they'll remember who you are when you reach back out.
Whether you're going to personally call 100 visitors to your booth or send mailers to thousands of trade show attendees, make sure your company has the plan established prior to the show. Your post-show strategy should be executed within one week of the show; otherwise, you're old and forgotten news. Mailers should be pre-written and ready to go; don't start designing postcards after you're back from the show.
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