Trade Shows are one of the most effective ways to get your product in front of buyers, distributors, investors and partners. Likewise, trade shows can be a great place for creating new relationships or even meet new clients. However, as we all know, trade shows require a lot of time, effort, resources and investment to do it right.
Our team at Pet Business Solutions has participated and worked alongside many of our clients at popular trade shows such as SuperZoo, Global Pet Expo, NAVC, WVC, APDT, IBPSA and many more. In that time we have helped many of our clients with designing digital marketing pieces, trade show booths, collateral and even helped them with on-site sales support. So in other words, we really understand the time and investment companies have to put in to have a successful trade show. At PBS, we take trade show ROI very seriously because we know our clients count on us to be their partners in the success of their shows.
Host a Contest or Giveaway
There is no better time to engage attendees, buyers or partners than with a contest or giveaway that can clearly benefit them but also give them a reason to stop by your booth. It is important to have a great raffle prize such as an IPAD, Apple Watch or for retail shows like SuperZoo or Global Pet Expo, product discounts (outside of show specials). Many of the pet shows today are big and that means your company can easily get lost in the mix. So, be sure to spread the news about your contest or giveaway through social media, email lists, partners and even press releases. The best part is, contests and giveaways give you another reason to collect information from decision makers at the show. However, don’t forget to make it exciting with creative ways to win such as spin the wheel, putting greens or even guessing games.
You Brand is Your Sales Tool
Too often we see many companies attend trade shows without any branded materials to hand out. Trade shows are the perfect venue to put your brand in front of prospects and reinforce your brand with existing buyers and customers. Investing in great branded items can truly lead to great brand recalls at the end or after the show. In fact, many of PBS’s clients have had the experience of having buyers come back at the end of the show to place an order because they remember the tote bag, pen, USB or even Doggy Bag Clip they gave them. Our personal favorite is and always will be tote bags. No matter what show, tote bags are the #1 branded opportunity and turns attendees into your sales force. Get creative or inquire about developing a brand strategy.
Invest in Your Booth
Your trade show booth is your advertisement! It’s your video, it’s your brand, it’s you YOU, so why skimp on your most valuable asset? Your company already invested significant time and money on fees, airfare and resources, so why not ensure that your are maximizing that investment by investing in a well branded booth setup? Far too often we forget that your booth is the biggest investment you make when attending a trade show. It’s your brand and you don’t want your brand to look cheap or unprofessional! In fact, a well designed booth setup that looks professional is much more affordable than one may think.
Focus on Educating
So often companies forget that many attendees at trade shows may not know who you are or what product you are selling. This especially true for first time companies hoping to use a trade show as a platform to launch or scale their business. While pamphlets and brochures may do the trick, try developing a guide or whitepaper specifically around educating attendees about who you are and the benefits of your product(s). Whitepapers can prove very helpful in conversation as well because it allows you to talk to the potential customer about your product or service while they skim all of the important features and benefits.
Get Active on Social Media
An effective way to gain exposure before, during and after a trade show is to post actively on social media. Many conference use twitter hashtags to promote the shows and your potential customer may be part of that conversation. Likewise, many trade shows today have apps to engage with attendees so download the app and start a conversation. This is also a great opportunity to tell prospects about a new product or feature you are launching or even to announce a show special or contest. The more touch points you create for your prospects, the higher your chances of setting up a meeting or getting them to stop by your booth. Oh, before we forget, be sure to ALWAYS include your booth number in your posts!
Trade shows gain have tremendous ROI if done correctly! Investing in your business and ensuring you and your team are taking proper steps to maximize exposure and reach is crucial.