Discovering Your Competitor’s Trade Show Strategies
We’ve talked in the past about how important it is to find out about your competitors at trade shows before you set up your brand new trade show display alongside them. Another area you want to explore when it comes to scoping out the competition is the strategies and methods they employ when it comes to trade show exhibiting.
To start compiling this kind of information, you need to visit your competitors’ websites. You should have already been there to study their product offerings and other areas, so you may find that it’s easier to navigate your way through their site on this visit. What you’re looking for now is any information they provide about the trade shows where they exhibited the previous year, as well as where they intend to exhibit in the coming year. Keep in mind that you may have to revisit the site to keep the information current.
You should be keeping a list of this information as you gather it. You want to know which trade shows they were at and how large their booths were at each show. You’ll likely find that you can organize this information easily in a spreadsheet and that you can update the data this way without a problem.
Next, you want to investigate your competitors’ marketing strategies. Check to see if they sponsor activities when they exhibit and if there are live presentations within their booth. Find out as much as you can about their advertising methods prior to the show. Do they use direct mail? E-mail? Which magazines or newspapers do they use for their print ads? There are services that you can purchase that will provide you with clippings of your competitors’ ads and press releases. If you have the funds available, you may find this beneficial.
As you cruise your competitors’ websites, be on the lookout for any mention of special events they are hosting. If you can wrangle an invitation to the event, you may find a bevy of information there, not to mention the fact that you’ll be able to have some discreet conversations with their customers while you’re there.
Information about your competitor’s strategies for trade show exhibiting can prove invaluable to you when it’s time to set your company against them. However, it’s not going to fall into your lap. You have to go searching for it.