Whether it’s NPE, FABTECH, or MD&M, trade shows provide tremendous opportunities to network and learn more about the industry. Trade shows were brought to an abrupt halt by COVID-19. Fortunately, trade shows have returned to help provide valuable face-to-face time with your customers and build new relationships. Let’s dive into why it is important to have a trade show marketing strategy in the post-COVID-19 world.
Five Reasons Trade Show Attendance is Important
Remote work is all the rage, but face-to-face time is one of the most pivotal aspects of getting new business. That all-important handshake and other body language cues that you can’t pick up on virtually help build relationships.
Response time can be the number one factor as to why customers pass on your business. Being face-to-face allows you to answer questions on demand. It also removes the screen, giving you more opportunities to network. Word-of-mouth travels quickly and those new relationships you nurture could bring in even more new business.
Do some competitor analysis
If you are there, it is highly likely your competitors are there. Competitor analysis is an important part of keeping your business unique. Plus, you might learn you have a new competitor you never knew about. Staying ahead of the competition is a tremendous way to provide the best customer service and learn about your competitors’ capabilities. It could introduce new opportunities to better your business and give you new ideas to increase your B2B trade show marketing.
Expand your reach
While social media is popular, not everyone uses it professionally. Having local customers is great for commuting and shipping. However, attending trade shows can expand your reach to national or even international markets. Having a trade show marketing plan in place will help identify areas to forge new business paths.
Building a brand can’t be done overnight. This is something that takes years to develop. Trade shows help increase your brand’s visibility and credibility. Attendees will see you as an authority in your industry and want to partner with you. This is also a tremendous opportunity to show your work. Having images on a website is great, but letting people interact with products will let them see the quality you provide.
Generate highly targeted leads
People go to trade shows to learn about new trends, exchange knowledge, and network with like-minded industry professionals. This gives you a chance to generate highly targeted leads. These will be the most beneficial to your business because they have a greater chance of turning into contracts. And since the potential customer has already started to build a relationship with you and seen your work, your business will be top of mind when they are ready to sign their name on the dotted line.
Just attending a trade show isn’t enough in 2023. You need to create an experience for your customers.
Three Trade Show Marketing Ideas to Improve Your Booth
Planning your trade show marketing materials doesn’t have to be stressful. With a little extra strategizing, trade show booths can be turned into immersive experiences.
1) Don’t ignore the pre- trade show marketing efforts
Prep work is an important step that can’t be skipped. You need to promote that you will be attending. This could be through trade show marketing campaigns that include emails, blogs, social media, or ads. All this content needs to be planned to ensure it accurately portrays your brand and your audience has time to interact with it. Doing your prep work could increase your chances of landing new business at a trade show. Potential customers will be able to recognize your brand from the advertisements and get their questions answered. You also need to ensure your booth is in top-notch shape with current branded information.
2) Use video to draw attention
Trade shows are busy and sometimes it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Using video can help grab attendees’ attention and make them stop at your booth. Giving the attendees a glance into your business lays the foundation for a transparent relationship with new customers.
3) Make your booth interactive
Attendees will remember you more if you make your booth interactive. Some spaces are small, but you can still make the most of tabletops. Give attendees something to pick up. This is a great opportunity to show off your product. Make sure to also have sales collateral available for attendees. The standard pamphlets and brochures will do the trick, but this is an opportunity to get creative by handing out something memorable.
Need some help crossing off these trade show marketing checklist items? Contact our team today — we’d love to chat trade show marketing!