Like any other marketing channel, trade shows are all about ROI. The best way to measure a trade show’s success is the number and quality of leads and how they converted after the show.
Therefore, to increase your chances of generating a positive ROI from an event you need to maximize the number of attendees visiting your stand. Don’t simply presume that attendees will find your exhibit, check out these 5 unique ways to attract people to your stand.
1. Run a competition for attendees
Many trade show exhibitors will focus on their branded giveaways, with pens, sweets and tote bags the favorite items. However, these giveaways don’t always engage the visitor with your brand as well as a competition.
There are several ideas for trade show competitions with some of the most popular including a social media photo competition, retro video game, or even spin the prize wheel.
Of course, you’ll still need a prize for the winner, but by making the game itself fun, you’ll have no problem creating a buzz at your stand.
2. Promote your attendance through trade publications
Whether your business is in beekeeping or brain surgery, there’s bound to be a trade publication specific to your industry. Leading up to the show, get in touch with writers from your chosen industry publication to see if they’ll run a feature on your business and mention your attendance at the event.
If you have an innovative product, new research or just a good old-fashioned news story about your business, try and elevate your presence before attendees even get to the show. Many of the events have an official media partner so it’s worth finding out who they are and what their guidelines are for being promoted before the show.
If publicizing through an official trade show channel such as the exhibitor guidebook, expect to pay a fee – although it should be worth it for the extra footfall to your stand.
3. Offer free Wi-Fi
Trade show venues can often have poor mobile internet coverage and paid wireless access, so attendees may be desperate to check their emails or get on social media during the show.
Why not help them out and attract more visitors to your stand by offering free Wi-Fi? Use the Wi-Fi sign up form to ask the attendee for their contact details and opt-ins for receiving after-show follow up correspondence; another way to build that list of tasty leads!
4. Let existing customers know you’ll be attending
In a recent survey of exhibitors, 83% of respondents chose ‘meeting potential new customers’ as one of the main advantages of exhibiting at trade shows, although that doesn’t mean you should forget about your existing ones.
As trade shows are usually industry-specific, many of your current customers could well be visiting the show already, so let them know you’ll be attending beforehand via an email or newsletter update that includes your stand number.
Meeting existing customers face-to-face is a great way to get feedback on your business and ultimately build long-lasting relationships which are crucial to any successful organization.
5. Condense your sales message
Most attendees will glance at your exhibition stand for only a matter of seconds, meaning you need to get your sales message across as quickly and succinctly as possible.
Too many exhibitors try and explain the history of the company on their exhibition stand, when the reality is they need to be focusing on what the attendee wants in that split-second they pass - and hopefully stop at - your stand.
When it comes to sales, it usually comes down to the key selling points of time and money: how does your product or service help the customer with these? Can you distil the sales message into a snappy tag line to put on your stand? If so, save the detailed information about your business until you have qualified the lead and make your initial sales message short and snappy!
Attract more people, generate more leads
Use these strategies to stand out from the crowd, attract more visitors and ultimately increase the ROI from your event.
Remember to be as unique as possible; you’ll be competing against hundreds of other similar companies so thinking outside the box is the best way to attract attention.