There’s no denying the value of trade shows and event marketing; even in the digital age, human interaction plays a vital role in the sales process. With all the planning and effort that goes into each trade show, it’s important to maximize every dollar and minute spent. If you’re not paying attention to these details, you could be losing money at your trade show.
1. Not Planning Your Trade Show Early Enough
The planning for trade shows should begin 12 months in advance. Once you choose the right trade show to fit your needs, it’s time to set a budget.
It’s critical to do this 12 months in advance so you can assess pre-show marketing preparations, post-show services like booth shipping, and all your advertising and marketing efforts leading up to the event.
When you have about 9 months to go, it’ll be time to design your booth and marketing materials, as well as enter in the planning stage for freebies and giveaways – everybody loves a good swag pack.
About 6 months before the show, you’ll want to consider your staffing needs, travel logistics, and confirm all your dates i.e. delivery dates and travel arrangements.
If you have enough details about your trade show at the three month mark, this is a great time to start preparing your staff, schedule meetings with the press and vendors, and reserve meeting rooms to invite potential leads to discuss your products.
2. Using the Wrong Type of Display
The type of display you select is crucial. This will make all the difference in the amount of traffic you see on the day of the show.
You’ve got custom exhibits that tend to be larger than a simple booth but also tend to draw attention from all across the trade show floor.
You’ve also got modular exhibits that are lightweight and easy to transport. They’re also easy to reconfigure and tailor to each show.
What it really boils down to is will you rent or buy? The answer to that lies in one simple question:
Do you plan to attend more than three trade shows per year?
If the answer is yes, then you’ll want to invest in your own display.
If, however, you only see one or two big trade shows in your future, renting will allow you to present a fresh, new look at every show.
3. Not Marketing Before the Show
You want the anticipation for your trade show booth to begin long before the day of the show. Marketing in advance allows attendees to plan which booths they’ll be excited to see.
Social media is the perfect place to start the party. You’ll draw in all those like-minded individuals that you’d like to meet and greet the day of the show.
You can also use social media to promote any webinars, tutorials, giveaways, or announcements you’d like to share.
4. Not Having the Right Staff
What’s it all for if, on the day of the show, you lack an engaging staff that will draw passersby into the booth?
Not only do you want to have the right staff, you want to make sure each of those team players has a designated role.
Efficiency, high-quality interactions, and an ability to react quickly is the name of the game. Efficiency enters the scene when everyone has a designated role.
Someone should be in charge of technology. Another staffer should be the cheerleader giving away those swag packs. Meanwhile, your finest salesperson can be on the floor hyping up each and every product.
When everyone has a designated role, there’s no guesswork and you’ll be able to watch your booth run like a well-oiled machine.
5. Not Being Prepared
If you followed the 12-month rule, you’re golden. With your budget set, your marketing materials designed, your booth staffed, it’s time to make sure everything arrives at its destination in one piece.
If you’ve rented your display, you’ll be off the hook for transport. But, there’s still all those marketing materials, swag packs, electronics, and paperwork to usher to the scene in one piece.
So, what’s handier than a concise checklist? Feel free to use this trade show packing list to ensure nothing gets left behind.
6. Not Following Up with Leads
During trade shows, companies are excited to collect new leads and promote their business. There are endless apps for this, and even badge scanners to import that data right into the system.
So, when you return to business as usual, it’s so important to send out your follow-up correspondence with a personal touch. Try to annotate specific details about each visitor you interact with. This will make for a really special follow-up that’ll pique even more interest in your company.
With the right planning and execution, you can reap the benefits that come with trade shows and event marketing. To learn more about making your next trade show a success, contact Structure Exhibits at 888.633.4162.