As the new year kicks off and teams return to work, marketing events calendars are filling up quickly. If you are a B2B marketer, you know January is a big month full of planning events, from client events to virtual and in-person events. Attending trade show exhibitions is one of the leading types of in-person events utilised by B2B companies. 92% of trade show attendees come to see and learn about what’s new in products and services. As such, they provide a great opportunity for companies to showcase new products, services or technologies to their target market. Done correctly, trade shows can generate a large amount of interest and create lasting impressions that translate into future sales opportunities.While they are undeniably effective, trade shows can be expensive and time-consuming for exhibitors, so it is important to develop a B2B trade show marketing strategy that ensures maximum return. We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 must-dos to create a B2B trade show that your audience remembers.
1. Stand out with a unique offering
The great part about trade shows is that they bring entire industries together. However, this can make it difficult for your company to stand out in a sea of competition. The key is to identify your unique offering and strategise your B2B trade show marketing to communicate this. It is important to understand the “Why”. Why you are exhibiting, who you are targeting, and how you can uniquely help them better than anyone else.If you’re unsure how to answer this, we suggest reflecting on your business value proposition. Customers today want to easily understand why they should work with you rather than your competitors. Many businesses already have a value proposition that tells prospects why they should do business with them. Integrate this to help tell your story and demonstrate how you can help their business grow.Identifying your unique offering early on will help provide cohesion and clarity throughout your communications, your booth design, your sales script, and your promotional gear, leaving your prospects with a clearer understanding of your company and what you can offer.
2. Use a multi-channel campaign to build interest
Whatever you do, don’t go into a trade show without putting any effort in beforehand. Shout it out loud and proud!In the months leading up to the trade show, it is important to generate prior interest to build anticipation and get attendees excited to visit your stand. Building hype in the lead up to the trade show is one of the most effective ways to ensure maximum return.Let your target market and existing client base know about the event and that you will be involved, and get them to schedule a time to visit you at your booth. Create excitement by extending an exclusive trade show discount, promotion, giveaway or contest. Let them know about any fun trade show activities you may be including at your stand, or if you will be hosting drinks and food and at what time. You can then promote this and build excitement using a multi-channel campaign through means such as:
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Social Media Announcements
- Blog Posts
- Promotion Videos
- SEO Strategy
- Email Signatures
- Calendar Invites
It’s important to note that communication is not only key in the lead-up to the event, but also during the event and even after the event, so make sure you are following up with any sale leads or generated interest.
3. Attract more people with an eye-catching booth design
There’s no doubt that the trade show space is increasingly crowded. One of the best ways to stand out in a saturated exhibition hall is by investing in a distinctive and attractive booth. Generate attention by incorporating bright colours, catchy slogans or high technology.Your booth can even be designed to create an experience for your prospects to really draw them in to get involved. This could be an interactive game, something that incorporates your technology or your solution. Executed effectively, this will leave your prospects with an experience to remember.While this may be a pricey undertaking, you will see that it is worth the investment. Come show time, there’s no better feeling than standing back and looking at your booth, filled with prospects interested in your offering. The key is to invest in a reusable booth design. Don’t get locked into paying exorbitant prices for a stand design that you can only use once.
4. Strengthen your presence with your best people
Your people are your greatest marketing tools on the day of the trade show. Ensure you are utilising the strongest people in your team to represent your company. As you have a finite time to make an impression on prospects who visit your booth, it is important to bring the team members who have the skills to draw people to your booth and engage them effectively to make the sale or generate new leads.It’s not only important to have the right people representing you at the booth but also those representing your company throughout the entire show. Send the right people to various seminars, utilise the best, most well-informed speakers to do keynote speeches, and wherever networking is available utilise your team to add richness to these experiences and build your brand.Using those that can best communicate your brand’s expertise and services keeps prospects engaged and starts a relationship that could last long after the event.
5. Build ties with event merchandise
It’s a proven fact that people love free stuff. One of the top ways to draw a crowd is by providing promotional gear. It’s also a great way to thank people for taking the time to come and visit you. Ensure the promotional gear that you choose really resonates with your prospects. Some of our favourite ideas are high-use items that are cost-effective, including power banks, wireless charging docks, fold-up tote bags, and water bottles. No matter what merchandise you decide on, make it relevant to your prospects, and don’t forget branding!
6. Nurture trade show leads with follow up
Post-show activities are just as crucial as pre-show planning. Make sure that you have a viable way of capturing leads gained from the trade show. Many trade shows offer lead-capturing solutions that enable attendee badge and business card scanning, if you choose to use these or your own solution, it is important to have a consistent solution to capture, qualify, and follow up with leads at all trade shows and third-party events. One or two days after the trade show while the event is still fresh in their mind, follow up with a phone call or email containing information relevant to the prospect’s interests. A simple check-in with them will go a long way in making them feel valued, keeping the conversation going and opening them up for further sales advances.
These are just 6 of the ways to create a B2B trade show to remember. While the initial investment may seem high, trade shows are the second largest source of B2B revenue for companies. By doing effective pre and post B2B trade show marketing, you are positioning your team for success and you will be sure to see great results that far exceed the investment. By mastering your B2B trade show marketing strategy, you can increase traffic to your booth, and turn more of those prospects into sales or future clients.
Have you got a trade show coming up?
If you are interested in increasing your B2B trade show success, get in touch with the Lead Agency to amplify your B2B trade show marketing. Our team of B2B marketing specialists are experts in organising and executing successful trade show events for clients from various industries including creating marketing collateral, lead generation and B2B marketing strategies.