Promoting Your Trade
Trade shows are a major investment of time and money. Personalized promotions, effective banners and unique giveaways can make your trade show booth a great forum to showcase your products, find new prospects, reacquaint yourself with old customers, take in a seminar or two, and schmooze with your peers (and your competition). Here are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your investment.
Do the planning necessary to be a trade show exhibitor, not an attendee.
Attendees wake up the day of the show, through up the same old booth and signage, and hope a potential customer or two wanders into their booth. A serious exhibitor can't afford that luxury. Plan your participation in advance, including your purpose in attending, people you would like to speak to at the show, who will work the booth (don't forget to train them!), and set a budget. If you plan well before the show, you will increase the return on your investment and avoid those nasty surprises.
Create some pre-show excitement in your target market.
For your show to be a success, you need your prospective clients (or current customers) from your target market to stop by your booth. First, you have to let them know you will be in the show and would be delighted to see them. Use your sales staff, your call center, and your website to announce your participation. Don't forget to include your booth location.
Let key clients make an appointment to stop by your booth at a certain time. They get personal attention and you get a great sales opportunity. A personalized invitation or announcement to your key prospects or clients is a great touch. Not only is it another chance to get your logo in front of your market, but you can announce new products or services you will unveil at the show. Besides, an unforgettable invite sent in a mailing tube is not something your client will soon forget. Of course, a customized postcard or invitation can work, too. These invites are especially good if you are hosting a party or meeting in a suite. Sending one of delicious candy bars with a custom wrapper announcing your participation in the show is also hard to ignore. For more great ideas on ways to announce your participation at a show contact Beth at Party411's Creations for You.
Make your trade show booth eye catching and relevant
You have less than 30 seconds in most cases to catch the eye of an attendee walking the floor. A custom banner or sign prepared by the experienced professionals at Party411.com can be effective. Your message must be short, sweet and to the point. Surprisingly, many companies go from show to show without ever changing the signage on their booth.
Try to get a specific message to specific clients at each show. You may have to create a new sign, but it will be worth it (and it will be much cheaper than creating a new brochure to hand out).
Almost everybody gives away something at a show. Make sure your handout promotes your business! Sure, everybody loves candy kisses, but will anyone remember you or your products after they eat the candy? There are plenty of inexpensive logo products available that will keep your name in front of the client after the show is over. For example, a personalized candy bar or a water bottle with your logo on it will be hard for your visitors to forget. We can help you order from a selection of hundreds of logo items or Ask The Party Girl for more ideas about signage, imprinted products or personalized candy bars. She has a ton of great ideas and we have access to products you won't find in any retail outlets.
Follow up leads quickly and professionally
Capitalize on any prospects you may have found with a letter, thank you, e-mail or phone call. Make sure you do it quickly. We have found that customers respond very well to a personal touch, whether that is a phone call or a hand-written note. Try to avoid form letters if you can. If you sent out a custom invitation, you may want your thank you to use a similar format.
In any case, learn from your show. Keep notes about what worked and what didn't so your next show will be even more successful!
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