Pre-Trade Show Marketing How to Market a Trade Show Contest

Pre-Trade Show Marketing: How to Market a Trade Show Contest
Pre-Trade Show Marketing: How to Market a Trade Show Contest Trade shows are important parts of the marketing mix for most companies. Trade shows present the opportunity to gain new customers and excite and up-sell existing ones.Often trade show exhibitors get caught up in the mindset of “build it and they will come” – the biggest and most impressive booth is nothing if the attendee doesn’t know when promotional activities are taking place, where the exhibit is, or why the company is exhibiting.The secret to a successful trade show is great pre-trade show marketing. An effective way to ensure that pre-trade show marketing is remembered and acted upon is to run a trade show contest. However, not all contests are created equal. There are a few ways to make sure that the contest you promote provides maximum response and effectiveness.

Make Contests Relevant

The key to maximizing a contest’s effectiveness is to make it relevant to your product or service. For example, if you’re a travel agent, give away the ultimate tropical holiday. By doing this, the mental connection to your brand, product, or service is strengthened, ultimately making your contest more effective.

By making the trade show contest relevant to your business, you will also attract the right kind of audience. Naturally, a person will be drawn to a prize offering that is engaging and enticing to them. This is a perfect way to ensure that your contest is highly targeted and connects with your ideal consumer.

Pre-Trade Show Marketing

1000s of Custom Logo Imprinted Trade Show Giveaways at Discount Prices! Promotion Store.comGenerating excitement and interest in the contest before a trade show is one of the most important factors for a successful trade show exhibit. To gain the maximum response to your contest, include information through tempting copy on all pre-trade show marketing communications – dedicated mail-outs, website advertising, and email blasts.

According to trade show experts, some of the most effective trade show contests utilize a two-part pre-trade show marketing campaign. A two-part campaign is where a company sends out half of the contest participant entry to qualified recipients before a trade show and keeps the other half at the booth during the trade show. This marketing vehicle means that recipients must attend the show and visit your booth to participate in the contest.

At-show Promotion

Your pre-trade show marketing should be complemented by heavy promotion at the show itself – have flyers and posters promoting the contest, and use word of mouth to let all who visit the booth know about the contest. What this does is reassure the pre-trade show marketing recipients that the contest will happen, and also attracts new prospects that you have not already communicated with.

Follow Through

It may sound simple, but it is important to follow through from your pre-trade show marketing and at show marketing by holding the contest when it is advertised. There is nothing more disappointing to an attendee, or damaging to a brand, than a broken promise.

Once the contest is followed through, remember to engage the new prospect or existing customer into a qualifying sales dialogue – this is after all the aim of the game.


About the author:

Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.


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