How To Handle Promotions During The Trade Show
More than any other market place, the trade show environment in loud, noisy, busy, hectic and certainly crowded.
Therefore it is very important to keep a clear focus on your outcomes and who the target market is and how you can stand out from the crowd.
Don’t be tempted to give a way trinkets – make sure the following requirements are met:
- It’s logical, fits with the booth and your company’s message
- Reminds the receiver of you, your company, and the products/services your deliver
- Is practical and useful
For example, a client of our, a multi-national welding machinery manufacturer gave away a $700 state of the art welding helmet as a prize draw. This prize would obviously only attract welders – their target market.
If your market is more general – say wealth creation, a prize could be a free holiday.
More and more exhibitors consider information products a very good way to engage with visitors. One of the main reason is that they normally have a high to very high perceived value.
Here’s a list of information products you could create and give a way during a show and beyond: (Make sure your giveaway provides the recipient with your contact details, incl. website, email etc)
- White papers
- Executive briefings
- Case studies
- Guides e.g. the 7 mistakes, 10 steps etc
Booth Promotion ideas:
- Create a contest
- Draw a price (do it daily, with lower priced items, and high perceived value, this way you can reward more people)
- Send out SMS’es daily, to let all your clients and prospects know who the winner was. (this is an excellent excuse to keep in touch with clients during the entire show.)
- Ask for referrals if a visitor turns out to be an unqualified prospect. Only do this if the conversation and rapport between you and the person allows the question
- Advertise in the “at the show” media
- At larger show, if you can afford it, hire staff to hand out flyers at the entrance to increase traffic to your booth
Be careful if you choose to do any of the following:
- Collecting passer-by’s business cards in a fish bowl. Remember the main purpose of the show is to attract qualified leads not gathering names for the sake filling your database with unqualified names.
- Using celebrities, magicians, sports figures etc., as this can distract your visitors and attract “everybody” which might defeats the purpose.
- Themes can be tricky – if you choose to create a theme, make sure in is congruent with your brand, the message you want to get out and attracts your target market.
- Staffing your booth with models no longer has a place in business. Your staff needs to be well informed and professional. How to reach beyond the exhibition space and promote yourself during the show: (depending on your trade show budget)
- Airport terminal displays
- Advertising on taxies, shuttle busses
- Taxi drivers, pay them a bonus if they mention your name to their passengers
- Hotel marquees
- Hotel drops, such as flyers under room doors and on pillows, box of chocolates etc
- Local TV advertising
- Mobile billboards
- Local city billboards
- Portable electronic billboards
- What are the paid offerings of the show management (ask your account person for suggestions on how to reach your goals)
- Pay for customers/qualified leads accommodation
- Offer free taxi transfer for customers
- Organise a fun outing such as golf tournaments etc
- Rent a function room, board room and offer refreshments, etc to your customers
- Submit samples of your product in the display area of the show ground
- Talk to the press, journalists are always looking out for stories and news