Signs that the exhibition industry is rebounding in Canada remain strong. Case in point: the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) recently announced that it set two separate facility records for events booked for the upcoming year, including 21 citywide conventions that are expected to bring more than 100,000 attendees to Toronto. And south of the border, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) says that U.S. exhibition performance is now only 22.3% lower than 2019, and it continues to improve. As performance rebounds, companies are getting creative by taking their trade shows on the road in mobile roadshows.
This strategy has proven effective, with 70% of people turning into repeat customers after attending an event and 85% of consumers saying they’re more likely to make a purchase after participating in experiences and events.
A travelling trade show allows you to get your brand in front of the right people and connect with key markets that might not be able to come to you. We offer tips to make your roadshow a success.
Tip #1: Plan well in advance
Taking your trade show on the road requires thorough planning long before you head to your first destination. Being prepared helps you make the most of every mile. Before you go:
- Determine your target audience. Consider where there’s a need for your product or service. Use demographics and research to find out where your potential customers live and work. Then select locations to visit based on your findings.
- Include those who influence purchasing. In addition to your main target audience, also consider targeting middle management and others who may have influence in company purchases.
- Pair up with events in the area. Take a look at upcoming events, such as fairs and festivals. If these events will draw your target audience, plan to join the crowd.
- Research permit requirements. Check the local regulations for each city you plan to visit. Some may require permits for mobile roadshows, so you’ll want to be sure to obtain these before arriving.
- Plan for time between stops. As you schedule dates and destinations, allow enough time for staff to disassemble the exhibit, travel to the next site and set it up all over again.
Tip #2: Market it right
Marketing your mobile trade show creates awareness about your event and builds anticipation.
Come up with a for your trade show to help capture your target audience’s attention and distinguish your company from the competition.
Make contact with potential attendees three to five times before the event to build excitement and let them know what to expect. Giveaways can help promote the event and entice attendance. Send potential customers a phone holder, portable cutlery set or handy magnifier.
During the event, use giveaways to make your brand memorable long after you’ve left town. Attendees will remember your mobile roadshow as they use their ear bud wrap or convenient straining tool. And they’ll be reminded of your brand every time they see beautiful flowers blooming from a blossom kit. The best trade show giveaways give continual reminders of your brand down the road.
Tip #3: Leverage hindsight
Regularly evaluate how effective your mobile trade show is and make adjustments, so your next stop is even better.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Were there technical problems with setup? How can it be improved?
- Do employees need more training about your brand or product?
- Was attendance poor? Determine why. Was attendance great? Repeat what worked.
- Is there a common thread between customers who followed through with a purchase?
Get ready to hit the road
Careful planning, strategic marketing and regular evaluations work together to make your most successful mobile roadshow. Be ready to take your trade show on the road with confidence.
- Thoroughly plan details in advance.
- Market your event to create awareness and build anticipation.
- Use giveaways to entice attendance.
- Continually adjust for improvement.