Most businesses these days are focusing their efforts on digital marketing, but this can be quite a time consuming task, and it can take a while for you to see results. Believe it or not, trade fairs are still popular and can be a great way for businesses to generate new leads partnered with a good branding design agency. The biggest challenge is competing with the other business stalls at the event, many of which are likely to be similar to yours. Here’s how you can make sure you steal the show at your next marketing event!
Go to a trade event as a customer
See what other people are doing – what do you like about their stalls? What attracts you to go and visit them? Take elements from all of them that you like and comprise the best stall that you can.
Do your homework
Who is going to be there? Who do you want to target? Depending on the event, you may be able to get the show to tell you who is going to be there so you can know who to look out for. A little LinkedIn stalk never hurt anyone! You may even be able to scope out whether they might be the type of person who wouldn’t mind you contacting them beforehand and setting up a meeting.
If you search for the show’s hashtag, you’ll be able to see the people posting about the show ahead of time. It may be worth knowing who they are and connecting with them, whether they are a customer or another brand, so you know who to look out for on the day.
Make sure you invest in creative branding
This will make your stall stand out. One of the best ways to attract anyone to your stall is via signage. You can check these out at other events and see what you like the most. Employ a good graphic designer to put together your signs if it’s not something you feel you can do that well. Find a good company for interior signs and check out their work – once you’ve found their website, you can easily search on social media for the companies they’ve produced signs for and work out if it’s a good fit for what you want.
Create interest in your stall with a good competition
Everyone loves a competition – they keep people interacting and most people will jump at the chance to win something. You could offer something such as a raffle, where the winner is picked completely at random, or you could include a challenge where you announce the winner at the end of the trade fair, or even after, by letting winners know via email – meaning anyone who enters is on your mailing list and could potentially be a lead.
Do a demo of your product
Showing that you are prepared to test your own product in front of people creates a level of trust – and you can even then let people test the product themselves.
Offer some on-the-day exclusive promotions
Exclusive promotions give people FOMO – or ‘fear of missing out’ – so if you are in a position to provide big price cuts or deals on the day, this could attract people to your stand. Make sure you advertise these clearly and also ensure you are going to make some profit out of the promotions, as trade shows can cost quite a bit in the first place – make sure you’re not making a loss.
Attract punters with sound
Check first whether the trade show you are at has any rules on this, but you could always bring a speaker to attract some attention to your stall. Not TOO loudly as you may get complaints from other nearby stalls, or you may not even be able to hear yourself speak!
Shout about it on social media
Make sure that, ahead of the event, you let people know you’ll be there. LinkedIn and Twitter are great for this kind of thing as you can see the competition ahead of time and even get inspiration from previous years. If they do a popular post, copy the hashtags! Have they done live videos in the past? Try and do the same! What is the reaction like to their posts? You can also shout about the promotions you’ll be offering, and even the competition if you decide to do one.
Give people free stuff!
People either seem to believe that giving out branded freebies is a good idea or a waste of money, but think of it as a business card. If it has your business name and web address on an item that people frequently use, they will be so much more likely to remember you than if you give them a piece of card that stays in their bag or pocket. Get creative – not just pens, but drink bottles, fidget spinners, travel cups…the list is endless.
You can also research what your competitors are doing, as mentioned before, on social media. Look at what other people have provided at similar events, and what other social media users are posting – search the hashtags of the event and you can see what attendees have received and loved before.
The networking element
You may well find other similar businesses at trade events to take inspiration from, but on the flip side, you might be able to find companies to collaborate on projects with. Marketing trade shows are a great opportunity for networking. If you get on with good companies and believe in what they are selling, you can strike up an agreement for mutual promotion.
Fake interest – not necessarily cheating
Although this definitely isn’t for everyone, you may decide to bring a friend or family member with you on the day to attract some interest in your business. If someone sees someone else being amazed by your product, most people will automatically be enticed to learn more. Whilst it isn’t the most ethical of tactics, it might be something you want to consider at your next trade event.