Are you thinking about adding trade shows to your sales and marketing mix? Consider this: A whopping 99% of exhibitors feel that trade shows provide unique value unmatched by other marketing channels. Trade shows can help you find new leads, increase brand awareness and showcase new products and services. If you’re new to the trade show arena, we have some tips—and some swag ideas—to help get you started.
Trade show tips for first-timers
Find out who’s going
The attendee list is usually available in advance. Reach out to fellow exhibitors who may be a fit for your business. Send a short email to those you want to meet and invite them to visit your booth (be sure to provide your booth number and location). Let them know that when they stop by, there will be a gift waiting for them. A wireless charging pad or power bank keychain make enticing giveaways.
Send your best
The team members you send to the trade show will be the face of your company so be sure to send your “A-Team.” Choose friendly, skilled conversationalists who are knowledgeable about your business. Provide pre-show training to help your team properly set up the booth, give product demos and answer inquiries.
Keep track of leads
Tablets, smartphones and badge scanners are great tools to capture trade show leads. You can go with a card-scanning app or go old-school with a pen and paper. Having a strategy in place ahead of time will make lead follow-up a snap.
Cool trade show swag can draw people to your booth. It also helps them remember your brand, products and services after the event is over. For maximum impact, choose a giveaway that is useful and fun. Everyone can use a pen, but yours will stand out when it’s a four-color stylus pen. A USB fan is another cool giveaway they’ll be sure to breeze in for.
Follow up post-show
Make sure to reach out to all your leads within a few days of the show. Thank people for stopping by and ask how you can be of assistance. A phone call or email, followed by a handwritten note, will leave a great impression. Toss in a small giveaway, like an emergency tool card or RFID wallet, as an added token of thanks.
Remember, trade shows can be a great place to meet new people, show off products and services, and increase brand awareness. We hope these tips and trade show swag ideas get you headed in the right direction. Good luck!