2/25/2011 4:45 PM
Trade Show ROI Tip #2 - Effective Pre/At/Post Show Promotion
When does a trade show begin? The morning the show opens? How about three days before when you leave to set up? Or maybe 3 weeks before when you remember to book your flight and try and find a hotel room? By expanding the time frame to 3 months before and 6 weeks after you give yourself a proper window for effective pre/at/post show promotion. Done well, each show requires this kind of time frame for planning and execution of an integrated trade show plan. The good news is very few exhibitors (approx. 20%) do any kind of pre-show promotion, so a little bit of effort gives you a big advantage over the competition.
Pre-Show Trade Show Marketing: The pre-show step includes assembling a targeted list of possible attendees, both customers and key prospects. With this list in hand, design a specific campaign to draw them to your exhibit. Give them a compelling reason to put you on their “pre-show” list of companies to be sure to see while at the show. Try a two-piece premium campaign whereby you mail half or part of the premium to them prior to the show, delivering the second part once they arrive at your exhibit. You could likewise discriminate toward your best prospects with a higher quality premium (like an I-Pod giveaway) versus a more generic giveaway item for other attendees (the traditional pen, etc.).
At Show Trade Show Marketing: Once at the show, it’s time to fulfill the promotion. Your staff should be able to identify the key target prospects and deliver not only the premium item, but a clear, cogent message. This may be your only opportunity to be face-to-face with this client, so be ready to create a memorable experience while at your exhibit.
Post Show Trade Show Marketing: Finally, post-show follow though must be timely (within 5-7 business days) and specific to the show. Whether the actual booth staffer who engaged the client or another representative from the company, both should be targeted in their follow up to the client’s specific areas of interest discussed at the show. This follow up step is your opportunity to take the relationship to the next level and set up another face-to-face appointment or, even better, consummate an ongoing business relationship. By broadening your view of a trade show from 3 days to 5 months you can similarly extend the value of the show and the depth of client relationships.
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