Are you getting the most from your trade show booth marketing?
Your company’s success at a trade show doesn’t just rely on making an appearance. You need to have a plan in place to maximize your time at the event, and it starts with having the right marketing materials to assist you.
Truth be told, trade shows aren’t cheap, even if you’ve been doing them for years and already have most of the materials you need for your booth. That’s why it’s crucial you develop a marketing strategy that will help you achieve the ROI you expect rather than copying what other vendors are doing or leaving your success to chance.
If you want your best chance of a profitable event that does more than creating impressions, you’ll want to have these four printed pieces in your trade show booth marketing strategy:
#1 – Trade Show Booth Marketing with Pre-Show Post Cards
You spend a lot of money to get booth space at a trade show, so don’t waste your investment by not ensuring you’ll have enough traffic to make it worth your time.
Sending out trade show postcards prior to the event will let people know where you’re going to be and why they should stop by. If you’re promoting something specific, such as a cash giveaway or free gift, make it known on your postcard.
Building pre-show buzz is an important part of marketing your trade show presence.
Source: American Marketing Association
Top of mind awareness is key when it comes to trade show booth marketing. Some companies have found success by sending two postcards prior to the show: the first one should go out six to eight weeks prior to the show, while the second should arrive in mailboxes about one-and-a-half to two weeks prior.
This helps establish your booth as a priority early on. Many attendees will use pre-show information to plan their time accordingly. Remember, you’re likely competing for their time with other vendors, presenters or workshops, and outside attractions. By securing their interest early, you stand a better chance of getting the booth traffic you want.
#2 – Large Format Prints
If you’ve ever attended a trade show before, you already know how difficult it can be to stand out. Some vendors bring over-the-top trade show booths, billboard-style signage, and professional-quality lighting arrangements to get noticed. But keep in mind that a big splash means a big price tag, and it’s simply not feasible for every budget.
Don’t be afraid to think out of the box with your large format printing substrates. You can use:
- Exotic substrates
Using large format printing is a less expensive alternative that gives you a competitive advantage over these massive corporate budgets. Posters, banners, booth graphics, and other items can help you establish your brand loudly and proudly without blowing your entire trade show fund.
#3 – Giveaway Items
From bags to cups to candy and more, it seems like every vendor is pushing their branded merchandise into the hands of passersby. There are a few arguments for why this works so well:
For starters, every piece of branded merchandise you give away counts as a brand impression. From there, every time your recipient looks at or uses this item is an impression. And finally, highly visible items like a bag, water bottle, or t-shirt means everyone who sees a person using that item has been exposed to your brand.
However, there are a few tricks to using branded giveaway items successfully for trade show booth marketing.
First, opt for an item that isn’t consumable or disposable. Your guest may unwrap a piece of your logo-embellished chocolate, throw away the wrapper, and never think of you again. The more valuable and useful an item, the higher likelihood your visitor will hang onto it.
Second, think outside the box with your items. Attendees will likely receive some sort of bag upon registration, which means they may have no use for yours. You want your gift to be meaningful, and that meaning can easily be diminished if several other vendors are offering the same item.
And finally, get creative with how you use your giveaway items. One idea is to create a branded sticker (make sure you add your booth number to drive traffic) attendees can wear throughout the event. Have someone from your team walk around handing out drink tickets or other prizes to attendees they see wearing the sticker. This gives them an incentive to continue wearing the sticker for as long as possible while also exposing others to your brand.
#4 – Brochures or Other Sales Collateral
There’s an art to using brochures and other sales collateral during a tradeshow. It’s not just about thrusting your material into every hand passing by. Doing this may expand your audience reach, but there’s no context in the interaction and it doesn’t give people a reason to look at it. (Not to mention there will be plenty of vendors doing exactly this, which means your masterfully created collateral will end up in a pile of unsolicited material that’s heading straight for the trash.)
Instead, use your sales collateral as a means of making meaningful connections. Give it to people who stop by the booth that you engage with in conversation. Handing them a piece of collateral as part of the interaction lets them know it’s more than standard trade show fodder. It is something that will provide value to them once they leave your booth.
Leveraging your sales collateral in this way will vastly cut down on your printing costs, as you’ll only be giving away your material to better-qualified individuals rather than the masses who may have little to no interest in what you do.
Look around any trade show and you’ll notice that many of the vendors follow the same pattern of handing out brochures and business cards, giving away cookies or candy, or buying ad space in the event directory
It’s easy to fall into these same rhythms because it seems like everyone else does. It’s in your best interest to develop your own strategy that’s specific to your goals, including what type of collateral and other printed materials are in your arsenal.
When you do, you can’t help but notice the positive difference.
For more ideas and inspiration on trade show booth marketing, visit our blog resources or call us at 702-617-9000.