How to Make the Most of Trade Shows

overview of a trade showWhatever your product or service is, there’s a trade show for you out there. There are many reasons to love trade shows, and here are some of them:

1. 99% of exhibitors get unique value from trade shows that they otherwise won’t get from other marketing channels, like getting a chance at face-to-face communication with prospects.

2. 88% of participants join in raising brand awareness.

3. 72% participate in getting high-quality leads.

4. A face-to-face meeting at a prospect’s office will cost you $259. A face-to-face meeting at a trade show will cost you $142.

With that in mind, trade shows offer such a fantastic opportunity for your business, but you can’t just show up and expect to get new leads or close new deals. You have to plan. Here are some ways to get the most out of a trade show:

1. Decide on one goal.

First off, you have to decide what you want to achieve by attending the trade show. Do you want to build brand awareness? Or do you want to meet your loyal customers and develop a personal relationship with them?

You want to choose just one goal so that you’re not trying to achieve dozens of things at once. It will let you focus your efforts, align your strategies, and use your resources wisely.

2. Track your leads.

You also need to have a way of tracking your leads. Frequently, companies will show up at trade shows and hand out their business cards at random without having a strategy of tracking them after the trade show. In fact, just 6% of marketers believe that they convert trade show leads into customers really well.

What you can do is use a lead retrieval app for trade shows. This kind of app will let you collect leads by scanning information from their trade show badge or business card. You can then access all data on a website, and some apps even let you sync the data with your marketing automation software.

3. Schedule high-impact meetings.

meeting with executivesDavid Adelman of Snagajob shares how scheduling a meeting with industry experts, conference organizers, and other vendors helps him meet more relevant people in a limited time.

You can go to LinkedIn and check for mutual contacts who might be able to introduce you. If there’s none, you can reach out personally. According to him, sending an e-mail and a LinkedIn message at the same time gets the highest response rates. Be sure to be concise.

4. Make your booth inviting.

Lastly, you should avoid overpacking your booth with inventories and furniture. Again, choosing one goal will help you out here. If you know that you’re building brand awareness, you can bring only the items that best represent you or help people get to know your brand.

You should also leave enough room for people to mingle with you. You want to make the front of the booth spacious for people so that they can freely move and interact with you.

Trade shows can bring in highly qualified leads into your business. Taking the necessary steps to prepare for a trade show will not only help you get the most bang for your buck but also increase your chances of meeting your marketing goal.