When the big show is over, the only question on your mind should be: Was it worth it?
Sure, it’s good to have fun, but at the end of the day, trade show marketing is an investment… and we want to make sure you get the return you’re looking for.
To that end, we’re providing this five-step approach, which will clear your path to a huge return on your tradeshow investment
Design Well but Don’t Go Overboard
When it comes to designing your tradeshow booth, balance is key. It is a tradeshow, so you do have to stand out, but customers should still be able to tell who you are, what you do, and the problem you solve within a few seconds.
Rather than using flamboyant colors like highlighter yellow or extravagant displays of unnecessary monitors, prioritize a few high-quality, well-executed elements. Not only does quality stand out, but your potential customers will see that your brand has substance when they get up close.
Prepare Your People
Even if you have supreme confidence that your salespeople know your product inside and out, you should recognize that the tradeshow is a completely different sales environment and adjust accordingly. You don’t need a full-fledged training program specifically for teaching your sales team to work a trade show, but you should make sure everyone understands the basics.
Your salespeople, as well as any support staff, should be very clear on what their role is and what the goal of the tradeshow is. For example, if you’re looking to collect information from leads, you should be sure that your salespeople understand this and make efforts to capture contact information from the people they speak with. Moreover, whoever is in charge of packing and unpacking the booth should be prepared to do their job efficiently and on time.
When it comes to trade shows, it’s the details that count, and aligning your team helps ensure that you’re on top of it.
It’s Not Over ‘til it’s Over
At the bigger tradeshows—and even some of the smaller ones—post-show social events can actually be the best time to develop and build on relationships with potential customers. But it’s easy to get carried away and let your guard down.
Make sure everyone that represents your company at any post-show events understands that they’re essentially still on the clock, even when the show is technically over. Proper, professional etiquette at social events should be a given but it doesn’t hurt to talk about it with your people. Plus, you should also make sure the sales staff is looking for opportunities to tactfully engage with potential and existing clients.
The Show Doesn’t Always Have to Go On
It’s important to step out of the trenches of tradeshow marketing from time to time and analyze how you’re spending your budget, especially as it relates to selecting the right shows. For example, you might improve your performance by making a big splash at—and focusing all your spending on—two or three shows rather than five or six.
Approach new shows with caution… ask other vendors what they’re like, who shows up, and more. There’s always going to be some element of trial and error but don’t feel as if you have to go to every show. You can usually use your money more efficiently by focusing on a few, consistent winners.
Go With the Right Kind of Pro
While the fundamentals of marketing don’t change at tradeshows, that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from the perspective of a seasoned trade show professional. When you’re looking for vendors to do things like construct your booth or produce your graphics, it’s best to find one that takes a truly consultative approach. These are the partners who will help you shine at tradeshows by helping you define your goals and get maximum results from your display.
To see examples of what your tradeshow booth can look like when you’ve got the help of a consultative graphics provider, take a look at Riot’s Events and Tradeshow album.