As 2016 winds down and 2017 begins, you have many things on your mind in regards to your firm’s future marketing methods. Most likely you are planning to attend a few trade shows. Some of these may be smaller, regional events and others might be industry-wide extravaganzas. No matter which events are on your agenda for 2017, you have one goal in mind for each and every one of those occasions—meet with potential customers and grow your reputation.
The same trade show strategy you used in 2016, 2015 or even earlier may not be what it takes to connect with customers today. We have put together six ways that you can revitalize your strategy and take it to the next level for 2017.
• Plan, and Keep Planning – When you book a trade show for your firm, when is the next time you think about the show? If you wait until the last minute, you are going to have a boring booth or a presentation that looks rushed and “last minute.” Start planning for your event today. Even when you have all the details settled, don’t relax. You can always add more details or make your references more up-to-date so that you are offering something truly special.
• Build Excitement – Announce your presence, let people know that you will be at the trade show. Get on social media and build up excitement about the event ahead of time. Don’t just count on people to discover your booth by chance; you want potential customers to seek you out and show up when you are there. Having built this excitement will make your entire experience more fun and fulfilling for YOU and your booth visitors.
• Choose a Great Space – Do you have any ideas where you will be when you get to the trade show? See if you can choose your space ahead of time. Even if you cannot choose it, find out where it will be so that you can pick the right materials and layout ahead of time. Create a space that is inviting and welcoming. The right booth space can make it easier for you to accomplish all your goals.
• Present, Don’t Just BE Present – When you are attending a trade show, you should not just be there. Make your booth an active space that allows you to engage with visitors. While you may not be able to present ALL day or all weekend, make sure you are willing to get active and engage when necessary. It will make a big difference.
• Coordinate Everything – Your booth materials, the items you hand out to guests and even your online presence should be connected in some manner. Choose coordinated colors, fonts, and other elements so that your customers get to know your brand and can focus on it now and in the future.
• Follow-Up – When you pack up your displays and drive off from the show, remember that your work is just beginning. Follow up with those connections you made. Use social media or email to connect with potential clients and find out what they are looking for from you in the future. The best time to build long lasting relationships is not AT the show; it is after.
Don’t enter your next trade show with the same tired elements that you have used time and time again. Do something new, engage your customers or visitors and make something happen. After all, you are a unique company with amazing things to offer—show this side of your business to the world.
Also published on Medium.