The trade show can do many things. It can help establish some brand recognition, get you out there networking, and even be your opportunity to learn about the industry. However, there’s one thing that should be on your mind above all else and that’s gaining some leads at each trade show you attend.
Here, we’re going to look at how you turn your trade shows into an opportunity to really leave your mark on your potential customers and expand on lead-building opportunities that can help you transform your business.
Stand out from the crowd
Don’t underestimate the importance of making a great impression at any public event where you’re going to be competing for attention with other brands. If you’re not able to attract event guests to your platform, then you will never get the opportunity you need to convince them as to why they should be paying attention to your business in the first place.
Make sure that you work with professionals who know how to design an excellent trade show booth and work with them to make sure that your brand is as well represented in it as possible. Think of ways you can make the booth stand out, whether it’s by using live experiences, audio-visual components, or something else. Good positioning is important, too. The closer you are to the entrance or to the “big names” in attendance, the better for you.
Pitch, but be flexible
When you strike up a conversation with an attendant, you should know exactly what you’re going to say for the first 30 seconds. Don’t make it rote memorization, however. Instead, make sure you make a mental note of the top benefits of the products or services that you’re trying to advertise and be able to expand naturally from them.
The best way to expand is to listen to the person that you’re talking to. They’re going to mention aspects of their career, life, or needs that you can then build off, telling them precisely why what you’re offering is the right solution for them. If you don’t practice active listening and you don’t play off what they’re saying, it will feel to them like you’re talking right past them. That’s not going to win anyone over.
Give them something to remember you by
It might seem like a relatively cheap strategy, but the fact is that good swag works when it comes to trade shows. At the very least, it helps establish a warmer reputation for your brand and makes your attendees associate it with fond memories. In the best case scenario, they are going to look at that swag and that will be the reminder that provokes them to get back in touch to learn more about your products and services.
Choosing the right giveaways is important, as well. If you can think of something truly creative that both shows off your brand yet is of use, then go for it. However, you don’t have to push the boat out when simplicity will work in your favour. For instance, if your brand would look great on keychains, then those are items that are practical, helpful, and very convenient. Don’t give away goodies that aren’t going to be practical enough to do their job. We’ve all seen attendees of trade shows throwing away t-shirts, for instance.
Send a follow-up email
A good conversation can help you begin a positive working relationship with a client or customer. However, they would be a very cheap date indeed, if that’s all that it took. You need to take the time to send them a follow-up email.
You should take the time to individually write out each follow-up email you send, which means that you should prioritize who they go to. Send brief thank yous to anyone who leaves their contact details with you, but take the time to find those who were most engaged. The email can be about following up on a subject you were talking about with them, with a helpful blog or link to carry the conversation on, for instance. Either way, never fail to follow up. It’s an easy way to lose a potential client.
Make trade shows your lead-generating machines
If you’re not already using them as such, it’s time to realize how valuable trade shows can be as a key part of your annual marketing strategies. Few other situations lend you the opportunity to capture your audience’s attention so directly and convince them. So don’t waste that opportunity.