This is the first in a series of posts identifying three key promotional opportunities to maximize your tradeshow presence. For Part 1, I’ll start at the beginning.
Booth traffic can make or break a trade show investment. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research has found that 76% of trade show attendees plan their booth visits in advance. In order to direct that traffic to your booth, you should start promoting your trade show presence long before the doors open.
But, you don’t want just any traffic. You want the right traffic. Getting those high value targets to stop by your booth requires a bit of strategy. A strategy that I’ve conveniently broken down into 3 “I’s” – invite, isolate, incentivize.
Attendees won’t know you are going to be at the show unless you tell them. Use a pre-show mailing to announce your presence at the event. Send e-vites and add a message to email signature lines. Use your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn profiles and your website to give them a tease of what they will see at your booth. Always list the event date and your booth number.
Sure, you want everyone to check out your booth and there is nothing wrong with that. However, you have your eye on a select group of high-value, looking to buy what you’re selling prospects. They deserve special treatment like a personalized invite or higher value giveaway that the regular attendees won’t get. Shift more of your promotion efforts and budget to bringing those prospects to your booth.
Invites are a great start, but sometimes it takes a little more to get people to stop by your booth, especially those that you’ve isolated. A sweepstakes for your premium product or service will grab attention and will help start conversations about them. For your isolated group, consider a redemption for a higher value giveaway than what your average booth visitor is receiving. Utilize your invites as entry or redemption forms and use promotion codes that can easily be tracked.
It’s never too early to start promoting your booth. Be sure to take a campaign approach with your pre-show promotions, using multiple touches through a good mix of marketing channels. Creating a buzz is a great start, but it raises the visitor’s expectations of your booth. My next post will explain how you can meet those expectations.
Building a Trade Show Marketing Plan, Part 2: The Experience
Building a Trade Show Marketing Plan, Part 3: Follow Up