What if there was a place that you could build brand awareness, network with valuable professionals in your industry and related industries, receive training on various business topics, and research your top competition all at once? There is: it’s called a trade show. Trade shows give you an opportunity to interact with both businesses similar to your own and highly targeted audience of potential customers.
But trade shows can turn into major failures if you are not well-prepared. That is why it is important to make sure that you have a solid plan before you exhibit your business at a trade show. One of the most important aspects of trade show marketing is the type of marketing materials and strategies that you utilize.
It only takes about a tenth of a second for someone to form an opinion about your business. Ideally, you want the design of your trade show booth and marketing materials to accurately represent your brand and to leave a positive impression in the customer’s mind.
At any trade show, you need something that is going to draw people to your booth. A large, well-designed banner or trade show display that is visible from a distance will do just that. Your banner design needs to be professional, clean, and eye-catching, but not full of overwhelming images or excessive information about your company. The banner’s job is to get people interested in your business and leave them with a favorable first impression so that they will approach your booth.
Trade shows are all about leaving positive, lasting impressions to increase brand awareness, create relationships with new customers, and strengthen relationships with existing customers. If the trade show is large enough that your banner cannot be seen from all locations, you need other marketing materials to rely on as well.
Handing out branded items that are relevant to your business and useful or desirable for customers is a great way to reach people at other booths. Wearables, lanyards, water bottles, or other highly visible handouts will intrigue people who see your booth’s visitors wearing or carrying them. The more people see others wearing or carrying your promotional items, the more likely they will be to visit your booth, opening the door for a conversation about your business and a chance to forge a new relationship.
Not only do you want potential customers to discover you at trade shows, but you want them to remember you afterward. Keep your business in the minds of potential customers and those who visited your booth with continued engagement.
It may seem obvious to bring business cards to a trade show, but it is one thing that you certainly do not want to run out of. Even if you think you have enough business cards, bring about a hundred more, just to be safe.
In some cases, you can also reach out to trade show attendees pre-show to put your brand in front of them and familiarize them with your business before the show even starts. If you can obtain a list of confirmed attendees, advertise your own attendance with a direct mailing piece. Be sure to keep it simple and compelling to avoid annoying potential customers.
You can also supplement your print marketing efforts with some online marketing. Be sure to advertise your attendance at the trade show on your website and to post updates on social media or on your website’s blog or news section. This can help spread the word to existing customers and engage new customers that might be searching for you after seeing you at the show.
Because trade shows offer you the chance to interact with customers face to face, the most important marketing material is YOU. Stay positive, really listen to potential customers, encourage customer interaction if possible, and try to be as helpful as possible. The more customers like you, the more likely they will be to trust your brand.
POGO Marketing can help with all of your trade show print marketing needs. We offer a range of print marketing materials for every step of the trade show marketing process. Start planning your strategy now!