Are you attending trade shows and other industry events this spring? Make them count by following best practices that maximize your impact. We’ve outlined five more trade show marketing tips you need to know for your next event.

1. Circulate to percolate

Get out of your booth and walk the trade show floor. Spend time at other booths meeting and learning about as many people and businesses as you can. And don’t be afraid to visit your competitors! Take photos of their booth and grab collateral samples while you scope out the best spot for next year’s booth location.

2. Gather data

Trade shows provide a captive audience of people who interact with your industry. It’s a great opportunity to engage and ask questions that can help your business. We’ve conducted discussion groups, intercept surveys (when allowed) and other formal and informal research tactics that have yielded important data for our clients. You can also use raffle prizes to encourage participation in online surveys during or after the show.

3. Use food as a connector

You didn’t fly across the country to eat lunch or dinner with your own crew. Plan to spend all your meals with other attendees who aren’t from your company. They could be customers, industry experts or simply someone you met during the show. Be prepared to suggest grabbing a cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch or hitting up happy hour. It takes work but it’s worth it.

4. Communicate beyond the show

If you are an exhibitor, you will typically have access to attendee emails and mailing lists. This offers you the chance to communicate before, during and after the show. Include a link to a special landing page, highlight a sales promotion or preview a game that will be in your booth. Keep your materials simple, memorable and social — just like your booth.

PRO TIP: We also suggest sending a very brief “hope to see you” email with your booth number on at least one morning during the show — it will drive booth visits.

5. Follow-up after the show

After every event, document what you learned, who you met, how you succeeded and any challenges you faced. Most importantly, follow up with everyone you interacted with as individually and personally as you can. You’ve established a connection with them and now you need to nurture it into a relationship.

Need more help maximizing your impact at an upcoming trade show or industry event? Check out some of our other blog posts or hit us up for some one-on-one guidance.

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