Attending a trade show is a great way to raise awareness about your brand. You get to interact with different kinds of customers and build your network with other entrepreneurs and investors. However, it’s also teeming with competition, especially if you’re going to a niche event. It’s not enough that you exhibit and demo your product. You need to wow your audience to stand out from the big guns. So, how can your small business achieve such a feat?
Before the Event
- Build Buzz – Most trade event attendees already have a set list of booths they’d like to visit before the convention even starts. If you want to be on their list, you need to pique their interest by building hype around your product and brand. Apart from investing in a great booth, you should also leverage the following digital marketing tools:
- Social Media – About 40% of consumers use social media to research products. Hire influencers to post about your product and mention that you’ll be present at the trade show. Create short and sweet posts about your product’s features and benefits. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag of the event you’re attending and add details on your location in the show. If possible, boost the post to your target audience.
- Email – People trust email newsletters more than they trust online posts. Leverage this by sending an email blast to your current customers about your presence at this year’s trade show. Tease any product launches or contests you might have lined up for them.
- Prepare Your Swag – Branded freebies are an easy way to get your company’s name out there. Buying custom pens and T-shirts are a must. But if you want to stand out, you also need to provide something more functional and unique in your goodie bag. A great example would be a power bank, as it gives attendees enough cellphone and camera battery power to last the whole event. Bonus points if your product can be charged by it!
During the Event
- Provide a Fun but Relevant Activity – Apart from providing product demos, you should also offer fun activities for your visitors. If your product is smartphone-related, run a smartphone photography competition of the event and provide a prize to the winners. Have a car-related product? Hire a VR company to set up a VR racing game on your booth for everyone to enjoy.
- Create a Theme – It’s perfectly fine to wear company shirts during your exhibition. But if you really want to stand out, go with a creative theme for your booth. The theme needs to be relevant to your product, too. Using the previous examples, you could create a photo wall of printed images that visitors have recently posted on social media. For a car-related product or service, you could dress up as a pit-stop crew. The possibilities are near-endless!
After the Event: Follow up with Visitors
After every visit, provide information pamphlets about your products and brand, along with your swag. Offer a free trial for them after the event as well, even if you’ve already provided a demo. If possible, provide discount coupons to the attendees in exchange for a subscription to your email newsletter. This way, you won’t just walk away with increased product awareness; you’ll also have a handful of quality leads.
Even if your product is great, it won’t get the attention it deserves if you have a generic booth. Use these strategies to stand out at the next trade show. Give your visitors a memorable experience and your product and brand will surely be at the top of their minds after the convention.