Creating Compelling Calls To Action To Fill Your Booth With High-Value Prospects

Gravitee VK-1337c Trade Show Booth helps you deliver your calls to action

Gravitee VK-1337c Trade Show Booth

How do you create trade show calls to action (CTA’s) that get show visitors off the aisles and into your booth?

Getting attendees into your booth is (or should be) the Holy Grail for exhibitors. Until you do that, the best product, the best product demo, the most well trained staff and the hottest giveaways don’t mean a thing.

For starters, your calls to action should compel those who see them to take the desired action at the desired time. Here’s an example:

There’s a famous newspaper advertisement with the headline, “Arthritis Sufferers: Please Read This.”

That call to action is referred to in the advertising world as “dog whistle copy.” Why? Because it’s only intended to attract those who have a need for what’s being sold. In this case, arthritis remedies.

But you can use “dog whistle copy” in your own trade show call to action. The goal should be to attract only those people who are the ideal prospects for your product or service.

If you sell a machine that makes widgets faster than your competitor’s does, consider a CTA like this: “Are you tired of waiting for widgets? Come meet the fastest widget-maker in the marketplace.” For those who feel their manufacturing process is too slow, you’ve just dog whistled to them. They’ll be interested in seeing how they can speed up their process with your machine.

So how do you get your CTA out into the trade show world?

Start before the show. You want to get on the “must see list” of as many of your prospects as possible, even before the doors open. When you combine different forms of communication in your pre-show promotion (email, snail mail, websites, social media, etc.), you increase your chances of getting on those lists.

1) Send A Pre-Show Mailing:
In this age of digital communication, many people feel that “snail mail” is dead. But since fewer marketers are using it, your message has a greater chance of standing out and being digested by your target audience.

Make it personal. In fact, a handwritten note is ideal. Invite the prospect, by name, to visit a specific person in the booth.

Make it convenient. Suggest a couple of times that would be good for a private demonstration. But allow the prospect to choose a different time that’s better for him or her.

Make it easy. Include a phone number and email address for following up.

Custom Exhibit with LED Lit Shelving and Backlit SEG Fabric Lightbox

Custom Exhibit with LED Lit Shelving and Backlit SEG Fabric Lightbox

Make it meaningful. For those who merit the extra attention, expand the invitation. Invite them to your hospitality suite or even dinner with a representative from your company.

Make it count. Be sure the message and the medium (the note itself) convey your trade show call to action. Have upscale notes printed with your CTA somewhere on the note. Leave adequate space for the handwritten message. You want all your communications (email, social media, website) to be sending the same CTA.

Snail mail won’t be your main marketing channel, of course. You can’t send handwritten notes to hundreds or thousands of people. But use the mail for your hottest prospects and best customers.

2) Use The Same CTA In All Your Communications
Website landing pages, email messages (even the signature block), social media posts, ads and mailing pieces should all focus on the same action you want your prospects and customers to take. Send this same targeted message from many different angles:

• Automate tweets and posts to be sent out before, during and after the show.
• Create a multi-part email campaign that also goes out before, during and after the show, focusing on your trade show calls to action.
• Tweet and post live during the show, talking about your CTA.
• Consider creating a hashtag around your CTA for social media marketing.
• Set up a drip email program that will go out to prospects you met at the show.

3) Incorporate the CTA Into Your Booth Itself
Make your CTA stand out in the booth in whatever ways you can: banner ads, graphics, photos or signage. These can all remind those who received your earlier communications that this is where those messages came from. That will attract those prospects into your exhibit.

4) Work Your CTA Into Booth Conversations
Encourage booth staffers to ask open-ended questions when talking with prospects. Remember the CTA example I mentioned earlier in this post? Instead of asking “Are you interested in learning more about our XL1000?” ask, “How important is speed to your manufacturing process?” This opens the door for the prospect to talk about their needs. Only then should your staffers offer suggestions on how your product or service can help.

5) Get Creative With Your CTA Marketing
Sure, you want prospects and customers to come to your exhibit and follow through on your trade show calls to action. But what will you do for those people who actually do follow through?

Think of an event that would involve all those who did what you asked of them. Consider an invitation-only party in a unique location with “name” entertainment. Or how about an invitation to a show?

If you’re in New York or Las Vegas, take a group to a Broadway show or one of the Cirque performances in Vegas. Either one could create a great experience tied to your company. Even a simpler event like an evening in an Escape Room might be perfect for a smaller group of people.

6) What About The Swag?
You’ll really hit a hole in one if you can incorporate your CTA into your premium item. This brings your marketing message full circle, reminding booth visitors of your message after the show is over.

Take time to plan how you can make this work. Using the earlier example of “speed” as part of a fictional exhibitor’s CTA, a stopwatch, kitchen timer or even a miniature hourglass could underscore that message. Think of what could remind show goers of your trade show call to action. Then pick a premium that harmonizes with that CTA.

This is the place where you find our CTA: whether you’re looking for a portable display, a modular booth or anything else having to do with trade show exhibiting, American Image Displays can help. We give you choices in the look and feel of the booth you want, along with accessories that can help make exhibiting easier, set-up faster or shipping more cost effective. To learn more, call 800-676-3976 or email [email protected].

For more, read our article on trade show booth games or how to build trust with trade show booths.