shows Ė Promotion
would you spend thousands of dollars and simply let your trade
show success rest on the luck of the draw?
Many companies have no idea what they can do to improve
their success because they look at it as an event that they cannot
control. They put
their full faith and credit in the trade show staff.
you choose to participate in any kind of trade show event, you
will make a substantial investment and regardless of your purpose,
you want to maximize the anticipated result.
How or whether you choose to promote your trade show can
make a huge impact on your success.
happens if someone comes to a trade show that would have stopped
at your booth and made an appointment, but they didnít know you
were there and never got to you or never thought about you?
A little promotion of your event at the trade show can have a
the trade show promotion
a portion of your trade show budget on promotion and
donít forget to include your time investment as well.
Hereís a good way to allocate your trade show budget.
Dedicated about half of the budget to services and booth
(the things that make you stand out and look professional). About one-fourth will be dedicated to the booth space itself,
and the other one-fourth should be dedicated to promotion.
with trade show staff to see if they can supply you with prospects
who will attend the show. In
consumer shows, these are much less likely to be found, but those
who register online might have their address info available.
these as ways to get your information to prospective contacts:
an invitation Ė Send a personal invitation to community
and/or business leaders who you spot on the list.
If you have a certain number of free or discounted tickets,
consider passing these along to people who will come.
Donít forget your current customer list in this category.
These should be your biggest fans of all.
Sending to this group may mean that they bring new
potential customers along with them.
Most will certainly stop in and their level of enthusiasm
and appreciation will rub off and be impressive to others who are
Ė This has become a bit more dangerous with the Do-Not-Call list
recently, at least where consumers are concerned.
However, if you have had contact with someone in the last 6
months, there should be no problem with you making that phone
mail Ė Often under-utilized or used wrong, direct mail can
be one of your most effective tools at marketing your services to
a consumer population. Be
smart about it however. If
you have target lists, use them.
If you are shot-gunning to the general population, keep
your costs as low as possible and only send them to areas where
you want to do business. If
you donít do business in a certain area, thereís no point in
often ignored but great direct mail piece is a simple postcard.
Cardstock is available at any Kinkoís and cut in fourths,
this makes the perfect card.
Develop your presentation on your computer, let your
printer print and cut the stock and then use your own printer and
most word processing programs to print delivery addresses. Alternatively, you can turn this process over to a mailing
house and let them do it for you to lists they already have.
most mail has a very low open-rate, postcards are often read on
the way back from the mailbox.
Postcards have a very high read rate since most people get
them as reminders from dentists, doctors, and vets.
Ė Consult show staff to learn of advertising possibilities.
In most cases, you can share incredible exposure for very
low rates. Just be
sure they support your goals and agenda for why you are going to
be at the shows.
yourself at the trade show
the trade show have events that you can sponsor or otherwise be a
part of? Many such
events have training or educational seminars.
If you speak at one of them, this not only puts your name
out there, it implies that you must be THE expert on the subject. A good speech can generate tons of interest in what you do.
This however, should not be the platform to promote your
services. People come
to such events to learn. Keep
it topical and the results will be passed along to you.
the trade show, consider what if anything you will give away at
your booth. Whatever
you do, if you do a piece of candy, do nothing instead.
If nothing is there, people wonít notice so much.
If you offer a penny piece of peppermint, it will just look
cheap. On the other
hand, donít give away the farm either.
ones that show up with the expensive piece of show junk spend a
fortune, most of it on people who only want the show junk.
Consider something cheap but practical.
Sticky note pads or refrigerator magnets with your company
name on them are relatively cheap, they have value, but they
arenít going to be sucked up en masse by the collector types.
and business cards Ė Whatever you do, show up to the trade
show with plenty of these. If
you have many leftovers, then you have a good start on next time
and you will eventually be able to gauge how many you will give
away. But if you run
short, youíve just shot yourself in the foot.
Even still, the tradeshow can still work though probably
not as well. Be sure to get contact info for everyone that stops by and
offer to send them something in the mail.
Planning your tradeshow
simply cannot do it all at the tradeshow.
If you can only do a single promotion, think it through and
plan it well. Most of
all have a plan of action for when people do stop at your