Are you looking for insight into trade show marketing techniques? You can read about some of the best tactics here in this guide.
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Trade Show Marketing Do’s and Don’ts To Dominate Your Shows

high-level view of a trade show marketing event

We’ve been saying it for years and now, some heavy-hitters in the small business world have weighed in to confirm that trade shows are invaluable for small businesses. If you haven’t joined the trade show circuit yet, don’t worry. There’s still plenty of time. The key is to make sure that you take the time to understand trade show marketing, first.

With decades of experience planning and designing successful trade show exhibits for Florida businesses, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. Now, we’re here to share that information with you.

Read on for the most important trade show marketing dos and don’ts to dominate your next trade show.

Do Identify Your Goals and Objectives

What do you intend to accomplish at your next trade show? You want to represent your business and expand your customer base, right? Sure, but this type of goal-setting is too vague to accomplish much.

We recommend setting SMART goals, which are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

The more specific you can get, the better you can learn from your trade show experience and come back stronger next time. SMART goals can include things like getting a certain number of contacts for your email list, making a certain number of sales, and getting a certain number of attendee interactions. The goals you set for your trade show experience should reflect your overall business goals for the year.

Do Run a Pre-Trade Show Marketing Campaign

Trade show marketing doesn’t start when the venue doors open. In fact, you can generate a lot more excitement for your trade show exhibit by talking it up before the big day.

Use all of your typical marketing channels to let your existing customers know about your participation and offer sneak peeks into what they can expect. Additionally, get in contact with the trade show director and ask for a list of attending press representatives. Draft up a concise press release and send it to every representative on the list so that they can use their channels to market your trade show participation, as well.

Do Work With Experts to Design a Beautiful Exhibit

Whether you’ve never participated in a trade show before or you simply want to step up your game, it’s time to turn to the professionals. At Rockway Exhibits, we offer full or partial services to any business that is gearing up for its next trade show. Whether you need to rent a few pieces of booth equipment or you need help developing a trade show marketing plan from scratch, we can do the job.

The success of your trade show marketing relies largely on the interest your trade show exhibit can generate. Your booth needs to be eye-catching, entertaining, and well-organized. With our help, you can attract interested attendees, direct the flow of your booth, and leave with tons of new loyal customers.

Do Create an Experience for Attendees

Nowadays, consumers are looking for something called experiential marketing. They don’t just want you to tell them about your products or services. They want your brand to provide them with an unforgettable experience.

Games, visitor-led demos, and interactive technology stations are all useful components of a trade show marketing strategy. The goal is to bring them into the booth, get them excited about the experience you have to offer, and use that time to secure their business (or, at least, their contact information).

Don’t Show Up Without Branding

Some trade show directors offer each participant a few key pieces of equipment, such as folding tables and tents, to use in their exhibit. However, this isn’t nearly enough to work with to create an interesting and attention-grabbing trade show exhibit. If you show up without branding materials, visitors won’t know who you are, what you offer, or why they should consider stopping to learn more.

Make sure that you not only bring plenty of branding materials but that you bring branding materials that can be spotted from a distance. That includes banners and flags, branded table cloths, and more. The second a passerby glances your way, they should learn the name of your company, the design of your logo, and the purpose of your business. 

Don’t Neglect Your Social Media Day-Of

Make sure that someone on your day-of trade show team is the designated social media coordinator. Ask them to take pictures and videos and start live videos on platforms like Instagram. Live videos, in particular, increase the accessibility of your trade show exhibit by making it virtually available to anyone who couldn’t make it to the trade show. 

When you’re putting together your pre-trade show marketing strategy, we recommend coming up with an appropriate hashtag to commemorate the event. Then, you can use it in all of your trade show-related posts and ask visitors to do the same.

Don’t Forget to Follow Up

Of the five major reasons that marketing campaigns fail, premature campaign termination is one of them. Even though the trade show only lasts for a few days, your trade show marketing should go on for at least a few more weeks. Why?

You haven’t quite reeled in all of those new customers that you have on the line. Not long after the trade show subsides, make sure to send follow-up emails and reminders about any trade show-specific deals that these customers have access to. 

Master Trade Show Marketing With This Guide

Trade shows are a great place for small businesses to increase their visibility and customer base. However, showing up without a plan isn’t going to do the trick. Use this guide to master the art of trade show marketing.

While you’re at it, go ahead and contact us to see how we can help. From trade show rentals to trade show strategies, we’re here to help.

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