Depending on what a company’s goals are for the trade show, pre-show marketing can include email campaigns targeting existing customers and colleagues as well as leveraging paid advertising to promote booth space or events. This can be done by leveraging an event’s registered attendee list or reaching out to industry publications and bloggers.
1. Increased Exposure
In order for a company to attract the right people to their booth at the trade show, they must first get their name out there. This can be accomplished through a variety of marketing tactics.
Using email, social media and public relations can all be effective pre-show marketing methods. It is also a good idea to create a dedicated event website or landing page to provide important information on the product launch, special offers and activities that will be taking place at their booth.
Obtaining the show management team’s list of attendees is another key strategy for increasing pre-show exposure. By reviewing this list, companies can narrow down the right leads that will ultimately visit their booth at the trade show. They can also use this list to follow up with people after the event. For example, they can send an email thanking the attendee for visiting their booth and inviting them to schedule a meeting to discuss further opportunities.
2. Increased Lead Generation
The goal of any trade show is to acquire new leads that will eventually turn into customers. Using targeted emails to existing customers, prospects and registered attendees (if available) is an effective way to generate interest and let them know about your booth activities.
Providing an easy and convenient way for them to share their contact information is vital. Rather than having them fill out paper forms, using a badge scanning device or having them drop their business card in a fish bowl that is rarely looked at, using a mobile app that can be synced with your CRM should be the go-to solution.
If lead generation is a key objective, be sure to review all the leads at the end of each day and follow up with high value ones straight away – otherwise they may lose interest in your business. Keeping the quality of event leads up to standard is a long journey, and requires planning, preparation and consistency in both marketing and follow-up.
3. Increased Booth Traffic
A company’s marketing efforts ahead of the show will help bring in qualified attendees. This can be done through paid advertising, event programming listings and PR outreach.
An email campaign should be sent to existing customers and prospects, encouraging them to visit the booth. It can include a message such as “We’d love to catch up and hear what you have to say! Stop by booth number>.”
Many exhibitors underestimate the power of pre-show marketing. When executed correctly, it can be used to not only draw in visitors, but to also narrow down the right audience to maximize booth conversions at the show. Developing campaigns with clear goals and objectives (ex: qualifying x amount of prospects or scheduling a certain number of meetings) will ensure that every touch point with the target audience is on-point and effective.
4. Increased Brand Awareness
A strong brand presence is important to your overall success at the show. This includes booth design and branded giveaways, but also your digital and social media efforts. Using monitoring tools to follow event hashtags, connect with journalists covering the show and being active in online communities are just a few of the ways you can be a part of the conversation and bring the tradeshow back to those who didn’t attend.
Reaching out to existing customers, prospects and your list of show attendees via email is a must for pre-show marketing. Providing them with information about your plans at the tradeshow, a link to an event-specific landing page on your website where they can schedule appointments and/or meetings with you and a visual calendar of any product launches or presentations you will be holding at the show are all great ways to generate interest in your brand at the show. Having all the contact information for each of these prospects in one place, preferably in your CRM will allow you to easily follow-up and monitor performance post-show.