Posts Tagged ‘marketing ideas’

Three Ways to Maximize Your Trade Show Investment

Posted on: November 29th, 2016 by admin No Comments

A trade show is an investment in your company, and you should take the time to treat it as such. It may seem simple, but it takes time to develop measurable goals for the show. Here are three trade show strategies to help you market your company and maximize your return on investment.

Plan Ahead 

  • Determine Your focus: Will you be launching a new product? Promoti31943028 - trade show meaning world fair and exportng brand awareness? Building a fresh leads list?  Each of these goals require a unique approach.
  • Research the Show and Its Attendees: Is this the proper venue for what you are trying to achieve? Will this be the right show for you to push retail sales or build business relationships? How many of your direct competitors will also have booths? How will you stand out from them?
  • Be Memorable: Interest creates interest! Capture attention by renting a Cash Cube Money Blowing Machine or Bingo Blower. Renting or purchasing a trade show attraction is just a phone call away! How about some useful custom promotional items? Consider options like custom USB drives, household tools or sports items.

Promote Before and After The Show

  • Social Media: Once you plan the details your event, get the word out well in advance. People will be excited to visit your booth for the chance to spin the Prize Wheel or play a custom Scratch Card.
  • Trade Show Publications: Each show will offer several ways for companies to participate in their printed material.  Print a voucher for an extra turn on a Plinko Board to attract people to stop by your booth. Do a half or full-page color advertisement listing all of the attractions at your booth to ensure guarantee that your booth has a crowd of people waiting to try their hand at attractions like the Prize Safe!
  • Leads, Leads, Leads!: Maximize your social media efforts by collecting relevant information as part of the effort. These generated leads can be turned into appointments booked at the show. Don’t stop there – follow up with leads after the show and offer company consolation prizes for being a valued part of your audience.

Be Ready

  • Staff Accordingly: Whether you are looking for new clients, retail customers or to develop relationships with existing clients, make sure you bring your company’s best! Ensure your staff is aware of your goal for the show so that they can help you achieve it. Assign each booth attendant an area of focus and direct attendees accordingly to keep the booth running smoothly during peak times.
  • Too Much is Better Than Not Enough: Make sure you have enough staff coverage – if traffic is slow any extra employees can be sent home. It’s better to have too many promotional products to giveaway than not enough.

There are so many ways to make yourself memorable. It’s worth the effort to plan in advance and maximize the benefit for your trade show investment!!

Smart Trade Show Marketing Ideas Designed to Attract Visitors to Your Trade Show Booth

Posted on: November 30th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

lightbulb ideaThere is no denying that trade show marketing can be an effective promotional strategy when done correctly. Trade show marketing exhibits at some of the high-profile shows in your industry can prove to be one of the most important moves your business makes. Unfortunately, it is also possible to spend a lot of money on trade show marketing and leave the show without the results you anticipated.

The key to getting the most out of your trade show marketing investment is to leverage your position and attract the most customers to your booth. Creating a mini trade show marketing plan can accomplish this. Using specific strategies to maximize booth traffic means that you will have more opportunities to increase sales and achieve your trade show marketing goals.

Trade Show Attractions offers several trade show marketing solutions for drawing crowds to your trade show booth. Similar to a car crash along the side of the road, all it takes is for a few people to show interest and then a few more stop to see what is so interesting and before you know it, a crowd has formed!

Here are three performance-tested trade show marketing booth ideas that have helped companies drive crowds of potential customers to their booths, capture the attention of important industry contacts, and generate media buzz.

The Cash Cube Money Blowing Machine

The Cash Cube or Money Blowing Machine is a trade show marketing tool that consistently stops traffic wherever it goes. It looks like a telephone booth with bills or coupons swirling around inside. It is not the booth itself that stops traffic, but the hilarity of watching someone thrash around attempting to grab bills and coupons in the allotted time frame.

To best utilize the Money Blowing Machine in your trade show marketing, have participants register or fill out a contact card for your records. Once inside the booth, they have 20 seconds to grab money or prize vouchers and stuff them into their money apron. To cut down on the number of participants, this promotion can be combined with a Prize Wheel, allowing only those who land on the “Money Machine” Prize Wheel panel to step in.

To gain even more publicity from your trade show marketing efforts, schedule a time when some “head honchos” from your industry can participate in a prize-grabbing contest. Tell everyone who stops by your booth to return in time to watch the industry leaders collect their cash inside the Money Machine.

customized prize wheelThe Customized Prize Wheel

Who can pass up the opportunity to spin a colorful wheel filled with prizes? With its low cost and high versatility, a Prize Wheel is one of the most cost-effective trade show marketing tools that a company can own. There are hundreds of ways to incorporate the Prize Wheel into contests, games customer retention events, and trade show marketing events. The Prize Wheel is not just useful at trade shows; it has also proven to be effective at outdoor events and in-store promotions.

One of the best ways to utilize the Prize Wheel in your trade show marketing strategy is to give trade show participants an opportunity to spin the wheel in exchange for filling out a contact card. This tactic often results in a stack of contacts by the end of the show that your sales team can use for follow-ups.

Customizing your Prize Wheel ensures that every participant wins – whether it’s a chance to win a bigger prize, a customized ad specialty item, or a coupon for savings on your products and services. Including your own products and services acts as a great cross-promotion as well!

Custom Logo Imprinted Promotional Items as Giveaways

I don’t think there is a trade show booth in existence that does not hand out freebies as part of their trade show marketing campaign! Most custom logo imprinted promotional items fall into the same categories booth after booth: highlighters, stress balls and pocket calendars. Each show has a couple of lucky booths handing out custom logo imprinted promotional items that everyone actually wants.

It isn’t luck that drives participants to these booths, however. It’s good trade show marketing planning! With every booth handing out their own custom logo imprinted promotional items, it is essential that yours stand out. The best ad specialty items are those that are useful for participants while they are at the show. When you give away ad specialty items that fill an immediate need for trade show attendees, they are much more likely to stop by and take one or try to win one.

  • For instance, a canvas bag with your logo printed on the side gives attendees the perfect vehicle for carrying around the rest of the freebies and brochures they pick up. It also serves as a walking billboard for your business and trade show booth.
  • Another great idea is to hand out an ad specialties water bottle. A refreshing bottle of water is always a welcome treat for attendees who have spent the bulk of the day wandering the conference hall.
  • Private labeling your own snack foods has also proven to be highly effective. This surprisingly affordable marketing tool is also extremely effective. Guests often appreciate your gesture of kindness so much that they will stop and chat for a few minutes to return the favor. This gives you the ideal opportunity to engage in conversation and make those important connections.

About the Author
Jonathan Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

Why Your Tradeshow Marketing May be Confusing Your Visitors

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 by admin No Comments

marketing questionsA big part of trade show marketing is deciding the right products to show. Inevitably, to narrow down the possibilities ask yourself, “What is the most important to me? What is the most important to my customers?” Rarely is that answer on the tip of your tongue. Like many trade show participants you probably want to seize the opportunity to show off ALL of your products to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Your Indecisiveness Confuses Your Visitors

This is a big mistake but it happens all the time. Tradeshow booths are often over-stuffed, over-loaded with variety, and entirely chaotic. They can be so chaotic in fact that a visitor isn’t interested to spend his or her time trying to figure out if you have anything worthwhile to offer.

Consider this from a psychological standpoint. When the brain encounters too many options, it becomes confused, tired, and starts to shut down. When the fatigue sets in, the brain looks for a resting place and moves away from the confusion – in this case, the chaos of your booth.

There are a couple reasons an exhibitor may make this mistake. Maybe they haven’t taken the time to create a solid tradeshow marketing plan and determine one specific area to place the focus. There may also be selfishness involved. The exhibitor has not thought of what their target audience is looking for at a particular event, and they have made it about themselves and showing off all their wares at one show.

Make Your Booth Inviting To The Human Brain

An uncluttered, attractive booth will provide the resting place you visitors’ brain seeks. Remember that visitors are at the trade show looking to see the latest and greatest, and they want to find it fast – give them just that. Feature your latest product or service in a focused, manageable format and tell visitors exactly how your products will benefit them.
Allow visitors to comfortably walk around your booth and check out your products and services. Avoid setting tables up in a way that creates a barrier, and don’t provide chairs for your staff to lounge in. Your staff should be knowledgeable and engaging and able to assist visitors with questions and product demonstrations in an organized manner.

Use Advertising Specialties To Attract Your Target Audience

Always keep your main purpose in mind – attracting visitors to your booth so that you can present your products and services. Advertising specialties are a great way to do this. But be sure that they fit you’re your tradeshow marketing plan by representing your featured product or service, your company brand, and the ultimate goal of trade show. Advertising specialties are a way for visitors to remember you long after the event is over. So choose wisely and make sure the item you pick will really speak to your target audience.

Advertising specialties not only promote your company, but can highlight a new service, product, event or achievement. Pens, mugs and key chains are popular items, but a company may also choose more specific advertising specialties like MP3 players or clocks.

Your trade show marketing strategy should be focused and cohesive, and so should your trade show booth. Cluttered and unfocused trade show booths counter tradeshow marketing efforts by confusing visitors. Avoid confusion by presenting a clear message and using advertising specialties that keep the focus on your target audience.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.

Trade Show and Convention Display Ideas

Posted on: November 12th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Trade Show IdeasThe convention booths that attendees are going to remember the most are the ones that have trade show games and activities that will keep them engaged while also informing them of what your company does. As important as trade show displays are at gaining your audience’s attention, it is the activities and booth staff that will turn their attention into a possible client. Here are some trade show ideas to take into consideration as you and your employees prepare for the upcoming event.

Choosing the Right Staff

As you are deciding who will be in charge of your trade show booths, take a look at the itinerary of the event to find out what times there will be the most traffic on the trade show floor and what times will be the slowest. Your staffers with the highest energy, most upbeat attitude, and outgoing personalities should be in your display system during the busiest moments. Most conventions take place for over 10 hours a day, so it is a little unreasonable to expect them to stay upbeat if they don’t get the much-needed break they deserve. Having other employees manage your booth during the slow times, which is usually at the beginning and ending of the event, will allow for your high energy employees to stay on their game and represent your company well when they are on the trade show floor.

Trade Show and Convention Display Ideas

The first thing attendees will notice is the look of your trade show displays and they will quickly decide whether or not it is worth stopping by. Many exhibitors assume that the more information they squeeze into their graphics, the more they will reach their targeted audience. I like to think of trade show graphics like billboards along the highway – they are simple with only one or two photos, bold colors and a couple short sentences that let their target audience know who they are and what they do. You only have between 3 and 5 seconds to appeal to attendees, so keep it simple and they will come to you. Effective portable displays do not have to be expensive; whether you have banner stands, pop up displays, or truss systems, well-designed graphics is what will help them decide if they are or aren’t interested.

Trade Show Games

Games are a great way to increase traffic to your convention booth and get attendees involved. Everyone enjoys winning prizes and will stick around your trade show display if they know they have a good chance of leaving with something they won. Here are a few trade show games that adults and kids would enjoy playing:

  • Prize wheels
  • Money Machines
  • Scratch cards
  • Prize vaults

By using some of these trade show games, you will be able to hold your audience’s attention as well as inform them of what your company has to offer.

Trade Show Promotional Ideas

Giveaway and promotional items will definitely draw in a crowd at the event, but there are a couple questions you need to ask yourself before deciding what items your will be handing out:

  1. What’s my budget?
  2. Who’s my target audience?

First things first, having a specific budget in mind will make it much easier to make this big decision. Know what the total amount is that you want to spend as well the size of the event to decide how much to spend per item. For example, if you are going to a massive trade show like CES, there will be thousands of attendees so you will need to order more promotional items than if you were going to a convention that only had a few hundred attendees.

Second, your giveaways should be something that would appeal to your target audience as well as being related to your business. For example, if you were a painting company and wanted to attract more families, you may want to hand out paintbrushes with your company’s logo and name on it.

One trade show promotional idea would be to have two separate items: a large quantity of inexpensive items that you can hand out to everyone who stops by your booth and a few expensive items you can give to leads who are very interested in doing business with you. This way everyone will walk away with something to remember your trade show exhibit by, but the potential new clients will leave with a gift that will keep you in the front of their minds when they are ready to buy.

Trade shows allow companies of every size to equally promote their business and get the exposure they need. With the proper planning and trade show booth design, you’ll be able to produce new sales and clients, while also building strong long-lasting relationships.

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.

The Most Critical Questions in Trade Show Marketing

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Tradeshow Marketing: Answers the Most Critical Questions in Trade Show MarketingAs a leading source of information for tradeshow marketing, we get lots of questions about strategies to from both trade show veterans and those new to tradeshow marketing. We’ve addressed a long list of questions on our frequently asked questions page, but want to highlight some of the most critical in even more detail here.

Is It Worth It For My Company To Incorporate Trade Show Marketing As Part of Our Marketing Strategy?

While this may seem like a question for those new to trade show marketing, veterans may want to read on. Even those who regularly attend trade shows may have lost sight of the purpose for attending the trade show in the first place…

Marketing strategies vary between industries, but nearly any business plan can enjoy greater exposure through tradeshow marketing — if its done correctly.

Attending a trade show just for the sake of attending likely isn’t going to be cost effective. You’ve got to have a clear goal in mind that you want to achieve and have a game plan to achieve that goal.

Since exhibiting is an investment, it is best to prepare thoroughly beforehand. Attend a trade show in your industry or other industry beforehand and view it through new eyes. Which booths get you to stop? Who encouraged you to leave your contact information and how did they do it?

In essence, the answer to whether or not tradeshow marketing is a worthwhile form of advertising for your company is up to you. While television or radio can be a great platform for advertising, an ineffective ad can make for an ineffective campaign. The same is true in trade show marketing. Thinking critically about your goals and then how to reach those goals is the first step toward making trade show marketing a profitable form of marketing for your company.

How Can I Make My Tradeshow Exhibits More Effective?

Each show is unique; tradeshow marketing strategies have to evolve over time. Strategize after each trade show — ask what worked and what didn’t. Conduct follow-up training and engage in brainstorming sessions immediately after the trade show. Bring new team members into the mix with each show to freshen up the energy and ideas — this can lead to an invigorated campaign for the next exhibitions.

Focus on creating a marketing plan before doing booth design, allow crew members to offer their input, and avoid tradeshow exhibits that create a barrier to buyers. Remember to offer training to staff as well, since the people behind the tradeshow exhibits are a vital component of effective tradeshow marketing.

Tradeshow giveaways are also a great way to bring in people to see your tradeshow exhibits. Treasure chests, prize wheels, and scratch cards are particularly effective since they are ways to have visitors interact with your tradeshow exhibits rather than just receiving a handout. Integrating activities with tradeshow giveaways will also make your tradeshow exhibits stand out. Cash cubes, video games, and promotional ATMs are all excellent examples of effective tradeshow exhibits. For a truly unique offering, consider promotional robots, event photography, or promotional inflatables. A well thought out marketing plan can greatly increase your presence not only on the trade show floor, but in your industry.

Looking for even more ideas? Take a look at our FAQ page where we address some of the most commonly asked questions about trade show marketing. If you don’t see your question there, send us an email and we’ll be happy to address it!


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.

Trade Show Marketing Inspiration from the Convention Floor

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by admin 1 Comment

Trade Show Marketing Inspiration from the Convention FloorOne of the most valuable sources of trade show marketing ideas comes directly from the exhibit floor. There is no better opportunity to observe the promotional tactics that work. In fact, your experience while exploring the floor is a key indicator of what your own audience will respond to. Incorporating the ideas that attracted your attention into your own trade show exhibits is a great way to leverage proven tactics.

Below, we’ll take a tour through some of the most effective trade show marketing strategies being  implemented across convention floors. These are strategies that are already being used by successful exhibitors, some of whom may be your direct competitors.

Suit Up To Stand Out

Dress uniformity is appealing to trade show attendees, even if only on a subconscious level. If your employees are wearing clothes that are consistent in color and style, it sends a clear message that they are working together as a team. Plus, not only does that uniformity help to brand your company and support its image, but it also makes identifying your staff easy.

You can take this strategy a step further and coordinate your booth staff’s clothing with the colors of your trade show exhibits. For example, suppose your company logo is lime green. The color is splashed generously across your overhead banners, displays, and other trade show marketing signage. If your employees’ shirts are also lime green, attendees will immediately recognize them as part of your company.

Appeal To The Appetite

Delicious food can transform the most cynical trade show attendee into a raving fan. But, not just any food will do. Candy bars and cookies can sate the hunger of most visitors, but both lack reach. Ideally, you should incorporate food that not only tastes scrumptious, but can also send mouthwatering aromas wafting through the aisles.

For example, customizable popcorn machines can attract attendees from across the convention hall. The aroma of the popcorn is irresistible and draws them to your trade show exhibits. Plus, you can provide customized popcorn bags that carry your logo, marketing message, and contact details.

Take The Higher Ground

A large portion of trade show exhibits fail to make use of the space high above the average attendee’s sightline. Instead, exhibitors often focus solely upon their primary site. Remember, convention halls can be massive. It may be difficult for people to find your booth among the hundreds of other exhibits across the floor.

By taking the higher ground with an attractive hanging display, you can grab attendees’ attention and make it easy for them to find your exhibit in a crowded arena. A triangle, quad, or circular hanging banner can be a perfect complement to a well-designed booth.

Use Promotional Giveaways Wisely

Your trade show giveaways can either be a short-term novelty or a long-term marketing asset. Too many exhibitors invest their trade show marketing budget in promotional items that attendees discard as they leave the convention hall. A paddle-and-ball with your marketing message may seem like a good idea initially, but its long-term value is limited. Invest in high-quality trade show giveaways that your booth visitors will take home and use throughout the year. It’s a cost-effective way to keep your company’s name in front of your audience over the long run.

Inject Interactivity

Hours spent walking the trade show floor can zap the strength of the most enthusiastic attendee. The fatigue is mostly due to a lack of mental stimulation. When attendees visit your trade show exhibits, give them a way to interact. You can use video game attractions or a cash cube money machine to stimulate their senses and inject a dose of interactive excitement into their day. Not only will they have fun participating, but your booth staff will have the opportunity to qualify them as potential leads.

The trade show marketing ideas above are being used by a growing number of exhibitors. As the costs of appearing at trade shows rise, exhibitors are realizing they need to do everything possible to stand out, brand themselves, and attract a wider audience. Often, the best marketing inspiration comes directly from the trade show floor.

Successful Trade Show Marketing

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by admin No Comments

Successful Trade Show Marketing

Trade shows have grown to become the number one business-to-business marketing medium.  Why are a growing number of companies marketing themselves at trade shows?
Trade shows provide a unique opportunity that cannot be replicated in any other type of venue. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) revealed the following about exhibitions:

  • 88% of attendees have not been seen by a member of your company’s sales staff in the preceding 12 months
  • Seven out of ten attendees plan to buy one or more products
  • 76% asked for quotes and 26% signed purchase orders (average all shows)
  • 72% of show visitors say the show influenced their buying decision
  • 87% of attendees will share some of the information obtained at an exhibition
  • 64% of attendees tell at least 6 other people about the event
  • 58% attend only the show in which you are exhibiting
  • 40% are first-time attendees
  • It costs 22% less to contact a potential buyer at a show than it does through traditional field sales calls

While trade shows are worthwhile, they are not easy.  To get the most out of trade shows, exhibit marketers set measurable objectives, pick good shows, design effective exhibits, and more.  Read on to discover the main elements of a successful trade show marketing program.

Setting Objectives and Measurable Results

The first step in planning your trade show success is to set effective and realistic trade show objectives and measurements for them.  Effectively planning your show’s objectives allows the rest of your show to fall into place. Choosing the right measurement tools enables you to draw the correct conclusions following your trade show performance.

The first question to ask is the most basic:  Why are you exhibiting?  While most go to generate leads and build awareness of their brand or products, many also exhibit to build relationships or introduce new products.

Once you know the reason you are exhibiting, set objectives based on them that you can measure – and then measure and report them.  Measurable objectives range from simple lead counts (200 leads at the XYZ Show) to Return On Investment goals (Generate $10 in sales for every $1 spent exhibiting at the XYZ Show).

Select The Right Shows

With over 13,000 trade shows, conferences, expositions, private and business-to-business events in North America, featuring 1.5 million exhibiting companies vying for the attention of over 100 million attendees, it can be daunting to select where your efforts are best spent. However, there is a method to help you find the best opportunities to market your organization at trade shows.

To start, select the shows you want to exhibit at only after you have set your trade show objectives. Then dig in to do some serious background research. The best bet is to look at the trade shows in your industry and carefully weigh the options. Talk to your fellow employees — what shows have worked in the past?  Where do sales people see the customer’s needs leaning? Look at whose going to be there. Talk to your current and prospective customers — is this a show they will be attending?  While you may exhibit well at your large industry show, also consider smaller shows that have a higher proportion of people likely to be interested in your products or services.

Space Selection: Where and How Big?

The average trade show has over 400 exhibitors, so how do you choose the best booth space for you? Most shows give space-picking priority to the exhibitors who have been with them the longest. Yet some studies have found that where you are in the show hall has no effect on the amount of audience you receive to your booth. For every veteran exhibitor that requires a space in the center of the action, or at the front entrance to the hall, or near their biggest competitor, there are veteran exhibitors who flee from the same locations. All the same, the size of your booth space is a very important decision, where you must weigh the need to stand out from your competitors with a large booth, and yet having enough budget to exhibit at all the worthwhile shows for your company.

Budgeting: Planning saves you time and money

Exhibiting can be complex. A large part of that challenge is identifying how much to budget for related services.  The easiest way to estimate your overall budget for exhibiting at a show is to take the cost to rent the exhibit space, and multiply it by three. So if renting a 10-foot by 10-foot exhibit at a show costs $2,000, then the overall show costs are usually about $6,000.

The biggest expenditures after booth space is staffer’s travel, hotel, and meal costs, show services such as installation and dismantle, the cost to build or rent your exhibit, and shipping.

A large portion of show services costs is called drayage, which is the cost to bring your exhibit and crates from outside the show hall to your exhibit space.  Sometimes it can even be as expensive as the cost to ship your exhibit from your city to the show.  The trend for exhibitors is towards lighter weight, more modular exhibits that lower costs like shipping and drayage.

Planning avoids rush charges and lets you figure out how to do the most shows with the fewest exhibit properties.

Exhibit Design:  Make Your Exhibit a Marketing Tool

Why does exhibit design matter? Because a well-designed exhibit is so effective at cutting through the trade show clutter and getting your message to your target audience. The average trade show attendee will spend 7 to 8 hours on the floor over a period of 2 to 3 days visiting an average of 25-31 exhibits. This leaves 5 to 15 minutes per visit – just 5 to 15 minutes to make a lasting impression that will give you an edge over the competition.

Create an exhibit that works as a true marketing tool.  Make sure your exhibit graphics say who you are, what you do, and what is your benefit to prospects.  When you state those clearly, you’ll bring in more visitors – and more qualified visitors.

Your exhibit is more than a three-dimensional ad. It’s actually a temporary workspace, filled with booth staffers there for hours or days, and visitors there for just a few minutes. Increase productivity by giving them enough space to work in, and by designing around their needs, be it for gathering leads, demonstrating product, meeting with key people, or storing their personal items.

Get More Traffic With Trade Show Promotions

Trade show promotions are the secret weapon of the veteran trade show manager. That’s because, when done right, trade show promotions work so well.

Consider these two items:

1. The average trade show has over 400 exhibitors, where the average attendee will visit about 21 exhibits, and that average attendee walks into the show with a list of 75% of the exhibits he/she wants to see. That means you have to get on their dance card before the show.

2. You can boost your trade show lead counts by 33% with trade show promotions – even thought they require a much smaller percentage of your budget.

So, trade show promotions are money well spent. Pre-show promotions are the things you do before the show to make attendees want to visit your booth.  At-show promotions are the activities and trade show giveaway items you do during the show to bring in more attendees into your exhibit.

Just be sure to pick promotions that bring in your desired target audience, not just anyone at the show.  And don’t just give things away – get information about prospects in exchange that will help you qualify and prioritize your leads.

Train Your Booth Staff So They’re Comfortable At Shows

85% of the positive feelings visitors have are due to the staff.  Your booth staff is responsible for drawing in your customers, effectively engaging them and creating leads. Because of this, it is important that you select the most effective staffers that your company has to offer. If they are sales people, you have to train them to adapt their selling style to the trade show floor. If they are not salespeople, guess what – they can still do extremely well, given the proper preparation.

Trade show staffing is uncomfortable for almost everyone at first.  You will give your booth staffer greater comfort and confidence by training them to understand and follow a 4-step booth staffing process:

1. Engage: 30 seconds
Start the process by stopping attendees.  Prepare and practice questions that won’t get a yes or no answer.

2. Qualify: 2 minutes
Determine if the prospect is worth presenting to … and what to present.

3. Present: 10 minutes
Demo on just the prospect’s needs, not everything you know. Prepare for common objections and questions.

4. Close: 1 minute
Lead card complete? Agree on the next step and go on to the next lead!

Lead Management, Not Lead Neglect

Astoundingly, almost 80% of leads generated are never followed, according to the Center For Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR).  Rather than sending your hard-fought trade show leads into the abyss, strive to be part of the elite 20% that actually follow up on their leads!  We’ve heard horror stories of exhibits pulled out of storage to prepare for a show – only to find the leads from the previous show still packed with the exhibit. What a tragedy!

Rather than just sending a business card from the prospect on to your field sales reps, provide and train your staffers to use a lead card.  It’s a half sheet of paper that has check boxes to the most common qualifying questions, and room for notes about what the attendee said in your booth.  Your sales reps will be much more likely to follow up on a lead when they know what to say, and that it’s worth the call.

Also, think of your first day back from the show as the last day of the show.  Have your lead fulfillment packages prepared ahead of time, so you can send your responses right away.

Measuring Results Improves Future Performance

Once you return from a trade show it is important to measure its success.  Why?  Because while trade shows are a great marketing medium, you still have to prove the value of your individual program.  This information can be used to report to management the effectiveness of the show and to improve exhibit performance for future shows. Success can be measured by simple lead counts, or better yet, by the return on investment, or whatever objectives you set when you started your trade show program.

By tracking your results from show to show, you can make informed decisions about which shows to continue, expand, contract, or cut.  And when you are armed with data proving the value of your overall trade show program, you can maintain – and even expand – your trade show marketing efforts.

How To Use Customizable Scratch-Off Cards To Generate Trade Show Leads

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by admin No Comments

How To Use Customizable Scratch-Off Cards To Generate Trade Show Leads Your trade show marketing strategy should focus heavily upon generating leads at the event. There are, of course, many reasons for participating in trade shows. They’re a proven method for increasing your company’s exposure within your market. They’re also an effective channel for introducing new products and services. If planned well, your time and effort will result in improved sales and revenue.

However, lead generation should be the priority for you and your booth team. Without qualified leads, your success in cultivating profitable relationships with prospective customers will be limited. Below, I’ll describe how you can use customizable scratch-off cards to create excitement in your audience and draw them to your trade show booth. I’ll explain how the right strategy can lay the foundation for generating waves of qualified leads at the event.

Customizable Scratch-Off Cards Generate Pre-Show Excitement

Exhibitors often think their participation at a trade show is enough to spark interest in their customers and prospects for the event. In reality, people need a reason to attend; having a booth at the show is not enough to motivate them.

Part of your trade show marketing strategy should be dedicated to creating pre-show excitement among your customers. You want them to be excited to visit your booth. There are plenty of ways to generate this excitement, but one of the most effective techniques I’ve used involves mailing out customizable scratch-off cards. Here’s an easy method that you can use to increase your booth traffic.

Four or five weeks before a trade show, mail the cards to your entire customer list. Make sure that every card is a winner and each recipient is eligible to receive a prize. However, don’t divulge the prize they’ve won on the customizable scratch-off cards. Instead, have the cards preprinted with numbers under the scratch-off surface. In order to find out what they’ve won and to claim their prize, your customers are required to visit your exhibit.

For the prizes, use cost-effective, high-quality trade show giveaways which promote your company. That way, you’re not only improving the goodwill that your audience has toward your company, but you’re also integrating a long-term trade show marketing component.

Beginning The Lead-Qualifying Conversation

The purpose of mailing customizable scratch-off cards to your prospects and customers is to create excitement and generate booth traffic. It’s important to realize that producing that traffic is the first step to generating valuable leads at the event. When attendees arrive at your exhibit to find out what prize they’ve won, you and your booth staff can discuss their business needs in the context of what your company can offer them. Once they’re qualified as “hot” leads, your staff can follow-up with them immediately.

Advantages Of Using Customizable Scratch-Off Cards

Customizable scratch-off cards are simple to plan, easy to mail out to your customer base, and can be designed according to your promotional ideas. Plus, because everybody enjoys the chance to win a prize, they’re perfectly suited to spark immediate interest and curiosity.

The cards are bright and colorful, and can be customized to fit a variety of tantalizing game formats. If you’re already sending newsletters, mailers, or other direct mail to your customers, the scratch-off cards can be easily added to the packages.

Trade shows are an effective strategy for increasing your company’s exposure, launching new products, and improving your sales and revenue. However, in order to do those things effectively, you must be able to draw people to your trade show exhibit. Customizable scratch-off cards can generate increased booth traffic and lay the foundation for your staff to qualify valuable leads for post-show follow-up. It’s a cost-effective trade show marketing approach that lets you improve goodwill, cultivate profitable relationships, and help you compete in your market.

How Exhibitors Can Appeal To The New Generation Of Trade Show Attendees

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by admin No Comments

How Exhibitors Can Appeal To The New Generation Of Trade Show Attendees If you have been exhibiting at trade shows for the past several years, you will have noticed that the average age of attendees has declined. It’s a natural evolution in the industry as the people who used to attend are promoted into higher levels of management. Younger faces have taken their place on the trade show floor. Exhibitors who employ the same trade show ideas that they used a decade ago will find this new crop of attendees less receptive to their overtures.

The people who attend trade shows today are more cynical than those who went before them. They’re less trusting, respond to a different set of triggers, and place more value on presentations that engage them on multiple levels. Below, I’ll provide a few trade show ideas that you can use in order to reach this new crop of trade show attendees.

Building The Trust Factor

Trust is an increasingly difficult bridge to build to today’s trade show attendee. Words alone tend to fall upon deaf ears. The younger people who walk the aisles have an increased level of skepticism. They’re not persuaded by flashy trade show exhibits or lofty claims that cannot be verified. Instead, they want proof. If you claim that your product will deliver a specific result, you must be able to provide evidence that can be validated. Until you’re able to build trust, the success of your other trade show ideas will be limited.

Putting Them In The Driver’s Seat

Long ago, car dealerships recognized the value of putting prospective buyers into the driver’s seat. The tactile demonstration often cemented the buyer’s decision. Your trade show exhibits should support the same strategy. Put your products into the hands of your booth visitors. For example, if your company develops software, set up a large monitor and encourage attendees to try it. The younger generation values a practical, tactile experience when making decisions. If you can incorporate this tactic into your trade show ideas, you’ll find these younger attendees more engaged and receptive.

Personalize The Approach

The younger people who visit your trade show exhibits want more personal attention than their predecessors. Initially, some of them will be content – and even prefer – to investigate your products on their own. However, after they do so, many will seek more information from you and your booth staff. The more you personalize your approach, the more receptive these attendees will be to the conversation.

Introduce yourself, ask their name, and use it. Avoid distractions and listen actively to their needs and concerns. Engage them in the conversation by maintaining a comfortable level of eye contact. By using a personal approach with your trade show ideas, you’ll communicate to your visitors that you value them and their time.

Inform, Entertain, And Engage

In years past, trade show attendees were content merely to be entertained. Any amusing break from the monotony of spending hours walking the aisles was welcomed. Today’s younger booth visitors require more stimulation on multiple levels. Of course, your trade show exhibits should be attractively designed to catch their attention and draw them in. But, you’ll also need to leverage creative trade show ideas that can entertain them while laying the groundwork for an engaging conversation.

For example, trade show attractions such as classic video games and customized popcorn machines can be the perfect complement to your exhibiting strategy. While visitors wait their turn to play the video game, or while eating their popcorn, your booth staff can begin qualifying them as potential leads.

Reaching and appealing to today’s younger trade show attendees requires a different approach than that which worked in the past. By building their trust, encouraging their participation, and giving them the personal attention they crave, you’ll find them more receptive to you and your booth staff. And once you’ve engaged them in a manner they value, your other trade show ideas will be far more effective.

6 Steps To Successful Pre-Trade Show Marketing

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by admin No Comments

6 Steps To Successful Pre-Trade Show Marketing Effective trade show marketing begins months before an event. Exhibitors who wait until the last few weeks before informing their customers cannot fully leverage one of the most cost-effective marketing channels at their disposal. Fortunately, by starting their marketing efforts early, they can get the word out and build enormous momentum leading up to the show.

Outsourcing key tasks to trade show vendors, mailing your customers, and sending press releases are important components of your pre-trade show marketing plan. Here’s a 6-step system for getting the most from your trade show investment.

Step #1: Formulate Your Strategy

Trade shows represent one segment of your company’s marketing strategy. The first step is to design your trade show marketing plan to fit cohesively within that strategy. Identify the objectives you’d like to accomplish. Are you trying to build word-of-mouth buzz about an upcoming product launch? Is your company trying to build a larger presence within a specific market? Do you need to solidify relationships with your customer base? Your trade show marketing efforts must be consistent with your company’s strategic vision.

Step #2: Formulate Your Tactical Plan

Once you’ve planned your strategy, you need to identify the marketing tactics that will help you achieve your goals for the show. That might include investing in promotional giveaways, trade show attractions that build traffic to your booth, and reaching out to other trade show vendors. Think of each marketing tactic as an individual spoke on a wheel. Together, they support each other, creating a synergistic strength in your overall plan.

Step #3: Start The Buzz Early

Buzz marketing starts at a grassroots level and builds momentum through word-of-mouth. Its strength lies in the nature in which it grows. Once you plant the seeds, the buzz spreads as people interact with one another. Before long, small ripples of exposure turn into larger waves.

You can plant the seeds by issuing press releases, writing editorials for an industry trade magazine, or through a savvy advertising campaign. If you’re unsure regarding how to approach these strategies, you can contract trade show vendors who have experience with public relations and trade show advertising.

Step #4: Mail Your Customers

Your customers represent one of your most valuable resources for increasing the ROI of your trade show efforts. By keeping them informed about an upcoming event, you can draw them to your booth. Plan a mailing schedule through which you send postcards, newsletters, brochures, tri-fold mailers, and other marketing materials that not only inform them, but remind them as the trade show grows closer. Each piece should emphasize the benefits of visiting your exhibit.

Step #5: Hold A Contest

Organizing a tradeshow contest is a fantastic way to start the buzz about your exhibit at an upcoming trade show. It builds excitement in your customer list, especially if the prize is relevant to your company’s products. Scratch cards are popular because they’re simple, cost-effective, and can be mailed out to your customers weeks before the show. Plus, by telling your customers that they must visit your exhibit in order to claim their prizes, there’s an automatic traffic-building component.

Step #6: Send Out Press Releases

Press releases are a potent marketing tool for generating traffic to your trade show exhibits. By sending them to trade magazines, local newspapers, and other publications, you can generate inquiries from the media as well as potential customers. There are always newsworthy items that you can use as the basis of your press releases. If you have never written one, you can hire trade show vendors who specialize in creating media kits and other PR materials.

Planning A Blockbuster Trade Show Event

Pre-trade show marketing begins with formulating your strategy and designing your tactical approach. Then, it’s a matter of planting the seeds for word-of-mouth buzz, building momentum, and getting your customers excited about the event. From organizing contests to creating press releases, scheduling direct mail to designing advertising campaigns, there are dozens of marketing opportunities to take advantage of. Consider using a trade show marketing checklist to keep track of the details. And don’t underestimate the value of hiring trade show vendors to handle the tasks for which you lack time or expertise. They can help ensure that your next trade show event is a blockbuster.


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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