Nine Ways To Get Traffic In Your Trade Show Exhibit
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) draws more than 170,000 people to Las Vegas every year. If that’s your market, you only have to appeal to a small slice of those attendees to make your trade show exhibit marketing program a success – in this situation, getting traffic in your trade show exhibit isn’t a big challenge.
It’s a bit more challenging for the rest of us, but it’s not rocket science. Even shows with just a fraction of that attendance can bring you a substantial number of leads if you know how to appeal to the prospects within that crowd. Here’s some advice on how to boost traffic in your trade show exhibit and get those prospects into your booth.
1. Provide a Charging Station:
We all use our phones so much, particularly when we are away from the office, that it’s easy for them to run down in the middle of the day. You might have a spare outlet somewhere in your exhibit, but your visitors aren’t so lucky.
Consider how helpful you’ll be if you offer them a place to charge up. Why not make it a comfortable place where your visitors can take a break for a while? The bonus for you is having a captive audience who’ll be listening to your pitch while their phones charge up.
2. Light It Up:
The lighting in most trade show exhibit halls is just plain bad. Those harsh overhead lights make people look weary, and products look drab. Plus, there’s no way to focus attention on what you want customers or prospects to see.
Lighting kits are available for virtually every exhibit system, and they can make you and your products look a whole lot better. And what’s even better, they easily focus peoples’ attention where you want them to be looking.
3. Social Media Is Your Friend:
You may not do much more than communicating with friends on Facebook, but your customers and prospects are doing a lot more. They’re on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Vine, and more.
If you’re not, you’re opening a door that’ll let your competitors talk with your potential customers. If that’s not part of your plan for success, get with the program, or find someone who can function in the social media world.
You can even monitor your social media platforms before the trade show to see whose attention you have captured. You can then research prospective clients and then invite them to your booth or a VIP event you will have set up. It is just another opportunity to make more meaningful connections and boost your booth traffic.
4. Get the Word Out:
Ask the show organizer for the email address list of attendees and send out a creative, clever, and a personal invitation to visit your trade show exhibit. Include details like your booth number and what you’ll be demonstrating. Here’s where the creative part comes in: instead of “For more information, contact…” try “Click ‘reply’ and ask me a question right now!”
Don’t stop with your email outreach. Send personal, handwritten invitations to your biggest clients and top prospects. You can even try a two-part premium, like a case for a fine pen, with a note inside that tells the recipient to bring it to the show to pick up the pen that goes inside.
5. By Appointment Only
Before the event, follow up those handwritten invitations with a call from your sales staffer to local customers and prospects to check whether or not they’re attending the show. If they are, invite them to set an appointment time. Give a reason for this (e.g., “We’ve got a special gift for everyone who sets an appointment”).
Encourage people who receive your emailed message to sign up for an appointment time, as well. Provide them with the URL for a special landing page that shows them available appointment times. This will help ensure you get that targeted traffic in your trade show exhibit.
6. Giveaways Work:
People expect swag from companies they do business with at trade shows these days. That’s why the two-part premium I referred to above can be so successful. But not any premium item will do. Do you need another luggage tag, lanyard, or thumb drive? Neither do your trade show booth visitors.
Work with a well-respected premium supplier and give them plenty of time to come up with something that works with your exhibit’s theme. Waiting until the last minute to work out your giveaways only means you’ll spend more money on something that will not support your marketing message well.
7. Graphics Are Important:
Whether it’s signage on your booth’s back wall or banner stands elsewhere in the booth, your trade show graphics have to tell your story when your staffers are busy. It’s frequently the first impression people will have of your company.
Make sure it conveys what you want people to think of your organization. Focus on one clear message, not a laundry list of products, capabilities, or features.
8. Wear Something Ugly:
Sponsor an “Ugly Sweater Contest” for your trade show booth staffers. Or have everyone in the booth wear bright pink shirts or neon green bell bottoms. The point? To stand out. There’s a lot of clutter on the show floor, and it’s your job to cut through it. If dressing with a wink and a smile works in your industry, try it.
9. Take Your Friends To Dinner:
Invite your best customers to be your guests for dinner one night after the trade show at a top local restaurant. Ask hot prospects you meet during the show to join you, as well. Everyone will feel special for being invited to a party, and you and your staff will have an opportunity to get to know your customers and prospects a little better, for just the price of a dinner.
(Bonus Trade Show Tips) Offer Your Best Clients a Ride from the Airport!
As well as feeding them, why not look up your 10 biggest clients and offer to pick them up at the airport and give them a free ride to their hotel? That saves them the cost and hassle of a bus/taxi ride and gives you 30 minutes with them in the car to get to know them better and cement the relationship.
Brand Ambassador Stories
Want more trade show tips? Well, contact people who already speak highly of your brand and have them be brand ambassadors for your booth. They can participate in product demos and talk to prospective clients about your company and product.
Traffic to Virtual Trade Shows
It is a little different when it comes down to getting traffic to virtual trade shows, but all the concepts really are the same. You want to impress your target audience. Virtual trade shows are accessible to those who might not be able to attend trade shows physically. A virtual event gives these people several options, including assistance for those with disabilities and those who may be impaired.
When participating in a virtual trade show, to get the traffic, you want to prepare quality content. You can provide your target audience with relevant and valuable content through different means, including a presentation, video, or even a document they can review online.
It is also important to make an event schedule. Many trade shows are more than just a one-day affair, and this includes virtual trade shows. Provide attendees with a schedule, so they know what to expect when it comes to the different sessions you are offering. Make sure to keep in mind the different time zones.
For even more traffic, take advantage of SMS reminders. Sent out pre-event reminders to remind attendees. You can also feature the event on your company website. An announcement on your landing page is a good way to get the word out and gain more traffic. You can also promote the virtual trade show on your social media platforms.
When it comes to promotional giveaways, you can still send out a giveaway or promotional item to attendees that have registered. The promise of promotional giveaways is always a good incentive when trying to get prospective customers to visit your virtual event.
When you exhibit at a trade show, you make a substantial investment. Just tally up the cost of booth staffers’ salaries, the booth space itself, your trade show exhibit, and travel, food, and lodging, and you’ll see just how expensive this business is. That’s why you need it to pay off each and every time you exhibit.
To get the most out of your trade show exhibit program, start with the right booth. Talk with American Image Displays at (425) 556-9611 or email [email protected]