Are you busy planning for upcoming industry trade shows? Use the four steps below to develop successful marketing promotions and maximize their potential.

  1. Think long-term.
    Force yourself to think beyond a single trade show. Can you stretch your contest out for a few months? Designing a long-lead marketing promotion allows you to gather data from attendees at multiple trade shows and take advantage of more touchpoints throughout the contest’s duration. It also saves you from having to develop a fresh and exciting idea for each individual show.
  1. Be creative, but on-brand.
    We’ve all received branded folders and flash drives that are destined for the wastebasket. Let’s face it, the odds of those standard promotional items making it home with a prospective customer are practically zero. Challenge your marketing team to deploy a concept that deviates from the expected tradeshow giveaways while staying true to your company’s value proposition.
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    Promoting your new TSA-approved bottle scanner? Bring in a vending machine and fill it with assorted beverages that attendees can test in the scanner. They’ll leave your booth entertained, refreshed and with a better understanding of your product. Creativity can make a memorable impression, but it’s best when strongly tied to your brand.
  1. Start with a goal.
    The key to successful trade show marketing (or any marketing, for that matter) is to execute activities that work toward a specific goal. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, moving a product or driving traffic to your website, any promotional contest or giveaway should be designed with your goal in mind. Working back from the desired result makes it vastly easier to determine the metrics that matter and how to best measure ROI.
  1. Bite off only what you can chew.
    It’s easy to get caught up in a promotional product windstorm but, when it comes to marketing, less is often more. Selecting one concept or giveaway and sticking to it will help you avoid distractions. Trade show audiences have a short attention span and you’re competing with every other vendor for ears and eyeballs. You’ll get the best ROI if you keep visitors focused on the action(s) that impact your specific goal. Trying to do too much at one time will limit the effectiveness of your marketing.

How do you achieve trade show marketing success? Tell us in the comments below!

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