Try on these tips for better tradeshows!
In a lot of industries, the tradeshow is still a centerpiece of your sales cycle. Tradeshows can be a great way to collect leads, reinforce relationships with clients and build relationships with other businesses. If you’re not prepared, however, they can be a waste of time and money (transportation, hotel, booth rental, printing, giveaways, food…It adds up fast). Here are five tips for ensuring that your tradeshow is worth the time, effort and money.
1. Clearly Define Your Goals
Do you want to get leads or make sales? Strengthen relationships with your current customers? Recruit new talent? Educate consumers and increase the visibility of your brand? Chances are, you’d like to do all of these things. But prioritizing one or two goals and then building your strategy around them will improve your chances for success.
2. Collect Leads Multiple Ways
Keep it simple: all you really need to gather is a name and an email address. It’s not a good experience to request more information and then be handed a form with 15 lines to fill out. The important thing to remember is that you will collect more leads if it is easy for people to give you their information.
You should do this even if you’re doing a raffle to collect business cards. You may have fishbowls out to collect cards so people can win a prize, but make sure that potential leads who are really interested in your service—not just winning a free iPad—have somewhere to sign up. They deserve their own segment on your email list, because those are often the leads you’ll want to nurture the most.
3. Bring Swag People Will Actually Want
Hate to break it to you, but nobody wants to wear a white XXXL T-shirt with your logo on it. But thanks to advances in uv flatbed printer technology, we have now have far more options to print on than just t-shirts. You can pretty much print on anything these days, so think about handing out something useful (tote bags, notebooks, USB sticks, hand sanitizer) or fun (golf balls and tees, bottle openers, drink koozies) instead of the usual pens and stress balls. Bonus points if you bring a giveaway that relates to your product or service: packets of seeds from a landscaping company, luggage tags from a travel agency, ear buds from a sound engineering company…you get the idea.
If you want to do shirts, invest in the graphic design time and quality shirts. If you choose edible giveaways, find a way to make sure that people are left with something with your name on it after they’ve eaten the snack. Think mints or candy in a branded tin.
The best gifts take some thinking about, hopefully we’ve inspired you, if not, here is a great post by “Inc Magazine” that will get your juices flowing “Tips for better tradeshows”
4. Reward Quality Leads
Don’t give away your top-shelf incentives to anyone who swings by your table—it’s expensive and the ROI is dubious. Provide perks to your loyal clients—let them know by email that you’ll have a special gift waiting for them at your tradeshow booth.
You can also offer perks for leads who you talk to extensively (i.e. people you think will be quality possible clients). Keep the special gifts tucked out of sight and only offer after the visitor has completed a demo or signed up for your email list, so you can cut down on unqualified leads signing up just to get the free gift.
5. Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Don’t cover the whole surface of your table with literature—select one or two key pieces you want to display, and keep the rest on hand if you have a detailed question. Even better, be proactive about collecting email addresses so you can email information to attendees after the fact. Instead of being lost in an armload of other tradeshow literature, your information will arrive in their inbox.
These tips for better tradeshows can help you rock your next tradeshow or conference, but make sure you have a great looking tradeshow booth, too—we can help! Our designers can create custom better tradeshow booths that will attract more leads to your booth. Learn more here.