“To generate new leads of course!” This is the phrase many exhibiting decision makers will use in answer to the question, “why does your company participate in trade shows?”
Delivery of leads, the introductions to companies that you haven’t done business with before (and sometimes with those you have), is perhaps the biggest and most attractive feature of trade show participation but if you are involved in the marketing of your business, this isn’t the only benefit to be had.
Ride The Trade Show Promotion Wave
Trade show organisers invest many, many thousands of ££’s and many hours of creative time in attracting the people who visit their shows and they do this via dedicated show websites, advertisements and articles in the trade press, internet marketing, social media marketing, direct mail, public relations activities, telephone marketing and anything else that will reach the people they want to convert to attendees.
All of these activities create awareness of the event but also a DESIRE TO ATTEND among many of the people that your company would like to meet and sell to in its normal and year-round marketing and sales campaign. A trade exhibition presents the opportunity for your business to capitalise not just on the organiser’s investment but in the market interest that is created via the show.
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Ancillary Benefits To Lead Generation
Without decrying in any way the benefits and need for strong sales leads, you can also;
- Use the run-up to the show as the ideal time to be publishing a market report, research results or information articles on the subject that your company specialises in. Doing so is likely to increase readership and downloads.
- Use the show to build awareness of your brand – yes your graphics and screens are designed to entice visitors and to get them to stop but they can display brand messaging too.
- Participation in the conference or seminar programme will also help on the awareness-building front and can provide you with content material that can be used as part of your post-show follow-up with visitors.
- Clean and grow your database – real live people present their current data to you!
- Test email and direct mail offers in your pre-show marketing to see which have the most success in attracting different prospect segments to your stand or website
- Conduct on-stand research as part of your visitor engagement process. You will have a chunk of the market on your stand so make use of the opportunity that this presents and learn something useful from them.
- Commence, renew or re-build your relationship with the trade press, leading bloggers and commentators within the industry as they are sure to be attending. Invite them, meet and engage with them.
Don’t Allow An Isolationist Mindset
The danger of focusing just on lead generation is that your show participation can become something separate from your company’s marketing. Instead, it should be an integral part that carries and embodies the same values that you promote elsewhere. It should offer opportunities to enhance your brand’s recognition and trustworthiness, your market knowledge and oh yes, a lot of new sales leads too.
If you would like to know more about expanding the value and reach of your companies trade show spend, request details by email on our upcoming “How To Run Your Trade Show Stand Like A Pro” seminar. Sessions will be held in London and Birmingham.
Email you enquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org