Trade show information sharing

A recent report, released by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), found that the two most common methods exhibitors use to share product information at trade shows are printed materials distributed at the booth (85 percent) and emails sent after the show (70 percent). The report also indicated that attendees prefer to receive information via those same top two methods. However, when looking at the most effective methods to engage customers, results point toward digital—information downloaded to a USB and post-event emails rated best.

Nancy Drapeau, CEIR’s Research Director, points out that although these results may indicate a shift to digital methods of sharing, print is still commonly used and requested. The key takeaway: A combination of both digital and printed communications may be the best way to reach your target audience. Keep reading for some suggestions on how to do both.

The best ways to share product information
It is better to be safe than sorry when deciding which methods you will use to communicate with trade show attendees. Finding a balance between printed and digital methods of communicating may be the best approach to reach the broadest audience. Here are some ways to do both:

  • Brochures/catalogs/handouts: We can’t ignore the fact that printed materials are still the number one way attendees prefer to receive information at a trade show. Forgo them completely and you may miss a lot of opportunities. However, printed brochures, catalogs and other handouts can easily get lost in the shuffle. Make yours stand out: Clip your business card to handouts with a logo’d jumbo magnet clip, or include a Notebook Band-It with each catalog—don’t forget to mark a page of budding interest for your potential client.
  • Email: Many trade show visitors prefer to receive product information via email, after the show. Entice prospects to sign up for email communication by holding a grand prize drawing for potential client sign-ups. Reward winners with an eBook Reader or a tablet keyboard. Be sure to send a follow-up email within 48 hours after the show. Be clear in your subject line so they understand what the email is about, use the recipient’s name in the body and include details about your meeting, such as products or information you may have discussed during your encounter.
  • USBs: When looking at effective ways to share information at a trade show, data downloaded to a USB rates highest—plus, USBs double as giveaways. Since these items are popular giveaways, you’ll want to make sure yours stands out among the rest. A USB that’s fun, like a bracelet-shaped drive, or one that serves multiple purposes, like a USB that is also a pen, can help yours rise to the top of their memory.
  • Web: Establishing a dedicated landing page and directing attendees to it can be a great way to share product information. Imprint the URL on giveaways, such as a touch-screen cleaning cloth or stylus pen. And don’t forget to request contact information from your pages’ visitors to enable sales people to easily follow up.

Remember, even though communication methods are shifting toward digital, a balanced approach can help you connect with more people. By combining both printed and digital methods of sharing product information with trade show leads, you increase the chances of reaching your target audience.

“New CEIR Report Looks into How Exhibitors Share, Attendees Prefer to Receive Product Info.” TSNN Trade Show News Network. N.p., 28 Aug. 2013. Web. Retrieved 20 Oct. 2013.

Lindsay Brown. “Trade Show Marketing (Part 3/3): Results Measurement.” Modern Marketing University. N.p., 8 Aug. 2013. Web. Retrieved 20 Oct. 2013.

Hoff, Lew. “Best Email Subject Lines for Exhibitor Follow-Up.” TSNN Trade Show News Network. N.p., 14 June 2013. Web. Retrieved 20 Oct. 2013.

Sprung, Rachel. “The Inbound Way to Do Trade Show Marketing.” Inbound Hub. N.p., 24 Feb. 2012. Web. Retrieved 20 Oct. 2013.

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