Create an ‘experience’ and make it about networking, not selling – make sure you’ve done some research into your clients’ requirements and expectations, make it about them and above all make them feel welcome.
Before the event:
- Reach out to attendees at least 6 weeks before the show.
- Send personal invitations to your current contacts that entails a ‘client journey’ to unlock a special feature on your stand.
- Buy your BEST clients a ticket to the show – make them feel important.
- Set up a strategy across all of your social platforms for lead up to the show 4 weeks, 2 weeks, 3 days to go!
- Use the supplied organiser marketing logos/tags on your email signatures and note your stand number as soon as you get the information from your exhibitor manual.
- Have a great offer ready to deploy at the show. Clients will be more inclined to give you their details there and then if there is ‘something in it for them’. (a time limit on a special deal is also a good motivator)
- It is imperative you have your best sales people on the floor. They should be aware of your company’s strategy and goals for the event and also be completely comfortable within your stand and be informed of any features, special offers or giveaways. They are representatives of your brand at all times during the event.
- Make it fun for your team ….maybe even run a competition for them, so they get a reward in return for going the extra mile.
Some Interactive Ideas:
- Exhibition halls are stimulating – create an ‘experience’ using as many senses as you can.
- Offer food and drink if it’s a viable option – with a place to rest and re-charge.
- Graphics can make the design – look for a distinction which sets you apart. For example; create an optical illusion. It’ll be memorable ….and a great conversation starter!
- Make use of innovative lighting displays.
- Create some kind of ‘theatre’ – consider hiring a ‘spruiker’ if necessary.
- Offer samples or giveaways that are branded.
- Run a competition.
Offer up some form of interaction which showcases your brand and makes it memorable:
- Hire touchscreens with interactive effects.
- Consider the use of Holograms, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality.
- Involve a feature that client has to move/press/touch to get a reaction or some kind of reward.
- Create a photo opportunity on your space.
- Have a #tag that clients can have fun with and repost… you can even use this on a social media screen/wall on your space!
- Run a Social Media competition using the #tag.
- Give your visitors the ability to interact with your website or download your app during the exhibition for extra features.
- Learn from your competitors – take the time to walk around the show and see how others are doing it. See who’s attracting the crowds …. and why. (make notes for next time)
- Trade Shows are not just about making new customers but also networking with others in your industry. Take the time out to connect with influential brands or businesses you may be able to benefit from or team up with.
- Follow up with your contacts sooner than later – turn those ‘hot leads’ into sales!