There are a lot of ways to generate leads for your business, but nothing beats the connections you can make with prospects like a live event. That’s why trade shows should definitely be a part of your marketing strategy in 2023.
But what’s the best way to prepare for an event in your industry?
Here are 7 things you should consider before attending a trade show.
1. Set your goals
What do you hope to accomplish from your company attending an event? The most common outcome is lead generation, so you’ll want to connect with prospects by attracting them to your booth or display, and exchanging information. Many shows will provide you with an attendee list before you arrive, and you can collect business cards and follow up with attendees after the event. Ultimately, it’s important to set your goals before you attend, and measure whether the cost of going to the event is justified by the potential revenue you can generate from the connections you make.
2. Choose the right trade show
Start by making a list of shows that your company can attend in your local area, including the dates and times of the events, registration deadlines, and cost. You can also determine whether you want to physically attend the show with a booth or display, or sponsor the event through advertisements.
3. Plan your booth display
Your booth or display is the first impression a prospect will have with your company, so make sure it’s eye catching and can draw someone in! Most trade shows will have restrictions on displays, so be sure to coordinate with event organizers before attending. There are a few ways to design trade show displays, including retractable banners, table covers and backdrops.
4. Train your employees
Remember that people who you send to attend the show will be representing your company, and that can either make or break your goals for the trade show. Everything should be considered, including how they explain the benefits of your services or products, follow up with prospects, and even how they set up and tear down the booth displays. To get your employees prepared property, you can consider going through role playing scenarios.
5. Promote your business
Don’t wait until the day of the event to announce that your company will be at the show. You can use social media, email marketing and even paid advertising to generate traffic to your booth. Think about ways to encourage people to schedule time with your business, including special incentives like swag, or contests.
6. Prepare your marketing materials
Do you want to give out swag to people walking by your display? This is a great way to start conversations with people who may lead to sales opportunities. You can consider promotional items like screen printed company t-shirts, company branded hats, or even printed materials like sales brochures.
7. Post show follow-up
Keep the conversation going after the trade show ends! Follow up with all the prospects and connections you make through email nurturing or even retargeting through paid advertising.
In conclusion, attending live trade shows and events can be a great way to generate leads for your business, but it takes a lot of preparation and careful execution to ensure it makes sense financially. Ultimately you’ll want to measure the ROI of each event to determine whether attending trade shows is worth the expense.