As 2016 is basically over and 2017 is going to be here before you know it, it’s time to start thinking about what aspects of your trade show booth display and strategy could use some tweaking for better success in the new year. Try taking a different approach by asking yourself what else you could be doing or getting out of your trade shows to improve results. Or, if you’ve never participated in a trade show or are new to the industry, here are a few things to think about and plan for as you create your 2017 trade show objectives.
1. Size up the competition
The great thing about trade shows is that they bring together many different companies that offer products and services in a similar niche, all under the same roof! This also means that they have a similar client base. If you participate in an event with a trade show booth, you have the opportunity to see what your competitors are offering and how they are engaging. Knowing your competition can help you better understand your own business and make adjustments to your strategies to differentiate yourself and draw the potential clients your way. In addition, you can determine where the strengths and weaknesses of the competition might be and play that to your advantage by offering something of value that they don’t have. Not only is your competition not keeping itself secret, but it’s probably proclaiming its plans at the top of its voice to get attention. Listen, watch, and you’ll find out more than you would from a thousand press releases.
2. Interact directly with potential clients
Trade shows are also a great way to reach out to potential clients. You can post about the show on social media, both before and after the show, letting clients know where to find you (just make sure you don’t overdo it!). This is just one more way to connect with potential clients in a real and meaningful way. Connecting your online presence, social media, blogs, and websites, to your offline presence can give your business a cohesive appearance to your audience.
No matter how many ads you run, or what kind of online outreach you have, there are some people who just slip through the cracks. They may participate in different circles than you, and so they’d never come across your business if you tried to find them online. In person, though, you can engage them, find out what they need, and convince them to give you a try. A trade show is a great way to get exposure to these customers and to cover both online and offline bases to ensure that you have the widest visibility possible. In an oversaturated world full of technology, face-to-face interaction can really stand out and leave a lasting impression!
3. Create a personalized experience & business presence
You can dress your booth up, polish it to a shine, and staff it with folks who will give the best possible impression of your company. You can put your own stamp on it, and create a personalized impression that will make you stand out according to the kind of competition and prospective audience that will be attending the event. Personalization also means interacting with customers and providing goods and services that benefit each individual and addresses their pain points. You can offer unique promotions to prospects at the trade show that you don’t offer anywhere else. You could also customize messaging for this trade show in order to best resonate with the audience you are trying to target there. If the trade show is for a specific industry, try to align your design and messaging to specifically relate to that industry. This gives attendees the feeling of being valued and that you have their unique interests in mind which will win your business loyal clients down the road.
4. Humanize your business
One main problem with businesses that have a great online marketing plan but a weaker offline one is that the business can seem slightly dehumanized. Attending a trade show allows you to put a human face on your business. And hopefully it’s a happy and friendly one too! Potential clients have the opportunity to meet and chat with an actual person who can give them details and information that they might not normally find via a website or telephone conversation. Being able to speak face-to-face with someone familiar with the business and its products or services can be more effective in closing a sale. Clients like to know the face behind the brand. A face that, when people find your card after the show, they might decide they liked enough to call.
Trade shows can be extremely beneficial to a business and should be considered in your marketing plans. They give you the opportunity to have a positive impact on your relationship with your clients, to size up the competition, and to attract new business as well. These are, of course, just a few benefits of attending trade shows. If you’d like more information, or tips on how to have a great show, all you have to do is contact us today!