We recently had the opportunity to test the trade show marketing ideas we teach our clients. It’s one thing to exhibit at a trade show, but we work with our clients to expand the experience and get the most out of the show. This includes utilizing a pre-, during-, and post-show marketing program.
As we prepared to exhibit at a recent trade show, we practiced what we preached. We produced a pre-show marketing program, then added some creative ideas during the show itself, and followed up with a post-show hit list that is already paying dividends.
We started the process by meeting with Michelle Allen from Crux Creative, who helped us to develop the plan. We brainstormed a bit and came up with the theme, “If we build it, they will come”. Playing off this baseball theme worked well because the show coincided with the beginning of baseball season. A time when we’re all optimistic that our team will be a contender this year.
The first step was to let people know we would be at the show. Michelle designed the theme graphic, then sent out a postcard and email campaign and created a landing page on our website. Informing the attendees and encouraging them to visit us in the booth was only the beginning. We let them know we had some fun games and prizes and that we were giving away an iPad to one lucky person.
We also worked with the show association to send out a show-approved email to the other exhibitors and attendees before the show opened. This way we were hitting as many people as possible well before the show began.
During the show, we carried the baseball theme into the show hall. Our exhibit had images of a baseball stadium along with photographs of some of our work. We used green astroturf to match the baseball field look, and we had a monitor mounted on the backwall with a Wii Home Run Derby game running. Attendees got 10 pitches to hit the most home runs, which in turn got them entered into the iPad drawing.
And the most exciting part of the show came on the second day. We had Mitch “Thunder” Nelles from The Big 920 Sports Talk Show do a live remote broadcast from the booth. We had a lot of fun with it, plus he mentioned Exhibit Systems many times throughout the show.
We had a great response at the show, with people playing the game, and more important, asking about our company. We scanned badges and got the business cards of many attendees. Now our job was to follow up with all of them. Industry statistics say that the majority of leads are not followed up on. That’s crazy, because the reason you would exhibit at a trade show is to get leads, right? We make it a point to follow up with every lead we get.
Overall, we were very pleased with the results. We put in some extra work in the beginning to get people into the booth, then we made sure they were engaged when they got there. We then made sure we followed up with them in a personal way, which has already resulted in a few meetings and potential projects.
As you get ready for your next trade show, contact us to assist in your pre-, during-, and post-show marketing. We can help you have a successful show with a better ROI.
If we build it, they will come!