There are few better opportunities than trade shows for seeing many of your clients in one space, the ability to talk to decision makers at a time when they don’t have everyday pressures on them and to meet new prospects.
This all comes at a price though and according to Business 2 Community, trade shows are the number one expense category for B2B firms and account for 20% of most companies marketing budgets.
Based on our own experiences and those of our clients, here are some best practise methods to look out for:
- Establish key goals – these could be achieving brand awareness, selling a particular line of products, identifying those companies you want to connect with
- Make sure your target audience know you’re at the show, where to find your stand and why they should visit you when they have potentially hundreds of other stands to visit. Methods could include advertising, social media, e-blasts
- Schedule appointments / dinners with key clients. At the larger shows, people’s time is precious so get in there early
- Send pre-show mailing to your clients / prospects
At the show
- Deliver an experience; give your clients and prospects a reason to visit the stand (a special offer, new product, demonstration for instance)
- Design a simple booth that is clean, clear and gets across your companies benefits
- Track visitors to your stand to help start future relationships
- Follow up: don’t let that introduction go to waste, ensure that you follow-up in a timely manner with agreed actions
- Identify ROI and establish effectiveness or otherwise of the show
- Debrief thoroughly with your team to ensure all lessons are learnt to improve the next show