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A Step-by-Step Guide to Pre-Show Marketing

step-by-step guide book for pre-show marketing on top of a desk with papers and office supplies

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity for companies to showcase new products, make connections, and grow their business. However, to be truly successful at a trade show, it requires a strong pre-show marketing campaign. 

Your Pre-Show Strategy

Creating a pre-show strategy is crucial to maximizing trade show success. Refining messaging for trade shows or events should begin at least three months prior to the event. Use organic social posts to see what messages resonate most with your audience. Sales and marketing teams also need to work together in the lead-up to the event. Marketing teams should pass open rate data to the sales team to help inform them of the focus of the customers. 

The purpose of ads in the pre-show preparation is to build awareness with people who will be at the event. Have a message that resonates with people and then magnify it consistently to reach the audience. Ultimately, creating a pre-show strategy that focuses on the attendee experience and uses data-driven insights can help maximize trade show success and generate long-term business growth. 

Your Step by Step Guide on Pre-Show Marketing

But if all of that was a little bit too abstract and you need some concrete tips, here are the essential steps you need to maximize your pre-show marketing efforts and ensure a successful trade show.

Step 1: Determine Your Audience and Refine the Message: The first step is to determine who your audience is and make sure your message speaks directly to them. Once you know your audience, you can tailor your marketing campaigns to their specific needs and interests.

Step 2: Understand Your Objective: What is the goal of your pre-show marketing campaign? Is it to increase brand awareness or generate leads? Understanding the objective will help you create targeted campaigns that can achieve your goals.

Step 3: Access Data to Create a List of Contacts: Data is essential when it comes to developing a successful pre-show marketing campaign. Gathering data from previous events or leads can help you create a targeted list of contacts to reach out to.

Step 4: Consider Sponsorship Options to Send Emails: Consider taking advantage of sponsorships offered by the event organizers. This will enable you to reach a wider audience and get your message in front of individuals who are already interested in attending the event.

Step 5: Collect First-Party Data from Website Visitors: Collecting data from website visitors, such as email addresses, is a great way to build your contact list and ensure that your emails are reaching interested individuals.

Step 6: Test Your Email List: Once you’ve created your email list, make sure to test it to ensure that you’re sending your message to high-quality contacts who are interested in your product or service. This will help increase your email open rate and maximize your marketing efforts.

Step 7: Utilize Email Campaigns to Increase Awareness: Email campaigns can be a highly effective way to reach a large audience and increase awareness of your brand or product leading up to the event.

Step 8: Include Sales in the Prep Work: Finally, don’t forget to include your sales team in the pre-show marketing process. Set up appointments with customers and prospects before the event to ensure they stop by your booth. This will generate leads and increase your chances of success.

Pre-show marketing is an essential part of making your next trade show a success. By following these steps, you’ll be able to refine your message, reach the right audience with the right message, and generate high-quality leads that will help grow your business. Remember, maximizing pre-show marketing will lead to success at the trade show and increase the chances of post-show success, which we will cover in Part 2 of our Pre & Post Show Series.

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