Now that Thanksgiving is done and the December holidays are not quite upon us, its a good time to start thinking about your tradeshow strategy for the coming year. There were contradictory findings in 2011; the tradeshow industry experienced a decrease in overall attendance, BUT most exhibitors said actual leads from shows were higher quality than in previous years, translating into higher tradeshow revenue.
Now that 2012 budgets are on the horizon, its a good idea to consider strategies for 2012 that may improve your tradeshow profits.
Smart devices: As a recent convert to the iPhone, iPod, and even the iPad, I can honestly say that these little devices are business miracles. Picture this–its lunch time at your show, one of your co-workers is taking her 15 minutes for lunch, and your other co-worker went to the bathroom. Suddenly you are left alone in your booth with three hot prospects all from different companies! Dream or nightmare? If you’ve incorporated technology into your tradeshow display, you’ve created a dream scenario because you virtually won’t ever be left alone in your booth. Think about having a couple of iPads with your product catalog on them, or a QR code incorporated into your graphics that features testimonials in your booth. This creates more possibilities for your customers to connect to you. Technology doesn’t replace human contact completely, but it will buy you some time. So follow this trend and have some tech toys in your booth. It will pay off!
Eco-friendly exhibits and promotional items: Being good to the earth is an important practice (as well as offering public relations value), and now the tradeshow industry is answering the call by providing more opportunities for companies to be environmentally responsible with their tradeshow displays. There are a lot of washable fabrics that are easily re-used instead of having to be discarded. We are seeing inks that are much better for the environment, and a lot of recycled materials in all types of applications.
Another eco-friendly idea is to put your catalogue on an inexpensive, reusable USB drive with your logo on it and present USB to your customers instead. Your customer will always have your product photos and information handy on a portable device that will probably be used over and over.
Social media: Since you are probably reading this blog because of our social media outreach, you know it works. So, think about adding a social media component to your tradeshow strategy for 2012. Here is an easy idea–encourage your current client list to like you on Facebook, or follow you on Twitter. Then send out tweets or updates with show specials throughout the day. When your clients visit your booth, take photos of them and post them on social media. They may re-tweet or re-post their picture, along with your company information, giving you greater exposure. Its also a great way to communicate and get the word out about what you and your company are doing!
As always Exhibit Experts is here to provide you with the tools, training and support that your business needs. We have many products and resources to help you and your marketing team integrate these trends into your 2012 strategic planning.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 brings you health, happiness, and prosperity.