Trade show marketing - how to prepare for trade fairs?
Trade fairs - often associated with the static display of several dozen not very different stands in a large hall, which is visited mainly by representatives of companies from a given industry and journalists. Currently, such events take a more attractive form and are full of various side events. It is a good opportunity to conduct marketing activities, referred to in English as trade show marketing. What is trade fair marketing?
What is trade show marketing?
The English term trade show means the same as Polish trade fairs (trade fairs: international, national, etc.). Such events are conducive to conducting effective marketing activities - at trade fairs, companies have contact with customers who are really interested in their offer. The whole trouble, however, is for the customer to choose one specific stand out of dozens of company stands - yours. Trade show marketing is the way to win a client during trade fairs.
Experts say that the development of the company's presentation strategy at the fair should be started no later than six months before the fair. This means long months of checking the concept, setting goals for activities, determining the way of communication with customers, designing the layout of the stand, etc. As a result, many months of work on trade show marketing will translate into a few days of company presentation.
Where to start preparations for the fair?
As we have already mentioned, trade fairs allow you to reach a customer who is already interested in some way in products or services from a specific industry. Therefore, when planning a good tradeshowmarketing campaign, it is worth considering what will really interest the client and what he expects at the moment. These conclusions should be combined with the goal your company wants to achieve during the fair.
What goals can you set in trade show marketing activities? It can be an increase in sales or the number of sales leads, an increase in brand awareness, an increase in website traffic or an increase in the number of fans and followers of your social media profile. Once you have defined your goal, think about how you will check the impact of your presentation at the fair on specific results - sales, brand awareness or the number of leads.
Prepare the website
Trade fairs may include business-to-customer (B2C) as well as business-to-business (B2B) activities. We assume that you know your potential clients and you adjust the actions to them - the needs of a single client will be different, and the needs of a business client or enterprise will be different. It is worth remembering about this when preparing trade show marketing activities.
Trade show marketing is an example of direct marketing - you present your offer to the client during face-to-face contact, you try to adapt it to him. Let's assume that you have set yourself the goal of increasing sales - it is unlikely that the sale will be finalized at the fair. A potential customer wants to see various offers and then analyze them coldly. Your task is to convince him that the choice of your offer will be the most appropriate for him, but you cannot count on him making decisions on the spot. So send it back to a dedicated website!
Preparing a special landing page is very important. Usually, you will direct those interested in your offer there - at the fair there may not be enough time to present its details. A reference to the website may also be useful during events accompanying the fair - lectures, conferences, meetings.
On the landing page, the element that was the goal of our marketing activities should be emphasized first of all. If it is a sale, display the offer and the c-t-a responsible for making the purchase. If acquiring subscribers - submit the newsletter subscription form along with an indication of the benefits associated with taking such action, etc.
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Call for action!
In order to successfully achieve the goals set at the beginning of planning your trade show marketing strategy, you need to focus on getting the potential client to take the action you want. Let's say that the first step you expect from a visitor to your booth at a trade show is to enter your landing page. Therefore, do not limit all possible call-to-action elements - they can appear almost anywhere - on posters, leaflets, LCD screens, in information packages. Also encourage to act during the presentation of products or the company and during conversations with customers.
Make sure that c-t-a is also adapted to mobile devices. Place QR codes on your leaflets and posters leading to a website you have prepared. Try to include a hashtag on the materials you share, which the fair visitors will be able to add to their opinion on your presentation, stand, products or services in social media.
Remember not to be overly intrusive in your trade show marketing activities. Exhibitors at the fair are very focused on sales - a slightly looser and less obtrusive approach may be a pleasant change for a potential customer.
Prepare your stand
Preparing a stand is one of the most important elements of the trade show marketing strategy. The basic rule is originality - try to stand out from the many similar stands. If you are making your debut at the fair, view photos or videos from similar events and see what the stands look like. Note that many of them are not that different from each other. Don't make the same mistake and make your stand different from the rest.
Start with the shape of the stand itself - try to modify it. Brainstorming will allow you to come up with an interesting idea, and when it comes to its implementation, the higher costs associated with the unusual form of the stand will reward you with greater interest from people visiting the fair. Have you noticed that most of the people serving the positions are wearing business clothes? Make your team stand out in this respect as well - suggest interesting, unusual outfits, but not overly extravagant. Surprising clothes can be an excuse to establish contact with the client.
Let yourself be found! Place objects in selected elements of the exhibition space that will allow the visitors of the fair to find your stand. Remember to make them graphically coherent so that potential customers can easily associate them. Avoid placing "stumblers" or other objects in places where there are already a certain number of them - they can easily be overlooked by visitors.
Once you have prepared your trading strategy and all the elements are ready, invite people from different departments of your company and try to run dry. Let them pretend to be visitors to the fair and interact with the stand staff. Such training will allow you to spot various mistakes and shortcomings - but allow yourself some time to correct them.