Trade Show Exhibitor Tips – 5 Marketing Tools Every Exhibitor Should Have in their Tool Belt
Exhibiting at a trade show is a great way to market your company’s brand or product/service, increase your brand awareness, build customer relationships, and increase trade show leads. But, without the proper marketing tools, exhibiting at a trade show or promotional event won’t do you or your team much good. Here are 5 trade show exhibitor tips & marketing tools that every trade show exhibitor should have in their tool belt.
5 Trade Show Marketing Tools Every Exhibitor Should Use
1. Market Research
Market research is a very crucial component of a company’s strategic plan. It is done to gather information surrounding a particular audience or customer base. Through the use of market research, exhibitors can easily create a target audience and focus on them at the trade show instead of wasting their time addressing attendees that are not within their target audience.
Market research also gives exhibitors the ability to analyze which types of demographic attends a particular trade show. When done properly, market research will be able to show if retailers, suppliers, or customers will be attending the show so that exhibitors can plan their marketing strategies accordingly.
Market research can also give feedback on what customers liked and disliked about a certain product or service. Through this, exhibitors can highlight the specific changes that attendees expressed during trade shows through product demonstrations. Then, after the trade show, exhibitors can use this information to update or re-invent their product/service in order to better satisfy the needs of their customers.
2. Social Media Marketing
Using social media at trade shows will result in a variety of positive outcomes for you and your brand. Prior to the trade show, exhibitors can use social media marketing to help inform their followers about their upcoming trade shows and promotions, as well as to help increase their reach and brand awareness to show enthusiasts and trade show attendees.
During the trade show, exhibitors can use social media marketing to promote their booth, run contests, and/or keep followers updated on happenings on the trade show floor. By using social media marketing during the trade show, exhibitors will be able to engage, interact, and answer attendee questions in real-time.
Finally, using social media marketing after a trade show is very important. Social media marketing can be used to thank attendees for stopping by the booth, asking questions, and/or engaging with an exhibitor’s team. Using social media marketing after a trade show is also important for staying in contact with attendees, keeping them updated on company news, future events, and/or receiving feedback on products or services your company provides.
3. Promotional Strategies
Another tool that trade show exhibitors should have in their marketing tool belt is a handful of promotional strategies. Promotional giveaways, sampling, and demonstrations are three main strategies that exhibitors should actively incorporate into their trade show marketing plan.
Promotional giveaways are small gifts that are given out to attendees at trade shows. These giveaways usually have the company’s logo, slogan, and/or name written on them and are anything from key chains, pens, koozies, Frisbee’s, stress balls, to much more. Giveaways may or may not relate to the company, but should be useful and memorable to attendees.
Product sampling and product demonstrating are two other promotional strategies that trade show exhibitors should be familiar with and use when appropriate. Product sampling allows attendees to try your product or service at your booth, while product demonstrating allows a hired trade show product demonstrator to demonstrate how to use your brand’s product. Both product sampling and product demonstrations allow exhibitors to get feedback from attendees about their product and allows attendees to try out and test their product through first-hand experience.
Blogging is another easy and effective way for companies to communicate with their new and old customers online prior to the start of the trade show. Exhibitors can write blog posts promoting the trade show they are exhibiting at, encourage attendees to meet them at the show, and describe to their readers what the benefits are of attending that trade show. By blogging about the trade shows they will be exhibiting at, exhibitors are increasing online visibility and increasing their chances of being seen and associated with the particular trade show and/or industry.
5. Direct Response Marketing
Direct response marketing is a marketing channel that allows a company to communicate straight and directly to a customer. Direct marketing strategies include email marketing, cold calling, texting, catalog distribution, and database marketing. Similar to social media marketing, direct response marketing can be used before and after trade shows. Exhibitors can (and should!) send emails, texts, or call their target market and audience prior to the trade show to let them know they will be there. After the trade show, exhibitors can use direct marketing to generate feedback about their brand and/or product as well as follow-up with the trade show leads they collected.
Exhibiting at a trade show takes many tools and talents, but the marketing tools are the most important. What marketing tools do you find most effective while exhibiting at a trade show?