Pre-Event Planning for Trade Shows: Five Tips
It’s no secret that participating in trade shows, conferences and other events can be a great way to increase brand awareness, improve product knowledge through hands-on demonstrations and, ultimately, drive more sales.
In fact, a 2014 EventTrack study by the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic reports that more dollars are being devoted to experiential marketing – an average 5% budget increase for survey respondents.
So whether you’re a long-time event marketer or a first-time exhibitor, how can you make the most of your investment? Be prepared! Here are five tips on pre-event planning:
- Promote, promote and promote some more! Do everything you can to reach a broader audience and pull more prospects to your trade show booth. Notify everyone on your mailing list and email list. Feature the event prominently on your website or create a splash page especially for it. Distribute press releases to preferred media outlets.
- Employ the incredible power of social media. The EMI/Mosaic survey revealed that 77% of marketers connect with consumers via social media before an event. You should, too. On Facebook and elsewhere, promote your event, encourage your targets to register – and urge them to spread the word to like-minded colleagues.
- Invite a new group of prospects via direct mail. Go beyond those on your internal database by renting a mailing list of others who fit your target profile. There’s no shortage of opportunity. At last count there were no fewer than 65,000 individual databases – most of which can be sliced, diced and otherwise segmented to truly pinpoint your most promising prospects!
- “Uh, when was that event again?” (Remind them!) Shortly beforehand, reach out to all of your invitees with an inexpensive, save-the-date postcard mailing. Emails and e-cards are, of course, other cost-effective reminder options.
- Take stock of your display, materials and giveaways. All of the measures mentioned above won’t help if visitors walk away unimpressed by your presentation … or unable to recall you afterwards. So use the occasion to reorder what you need – or refresh what might seem tired and outdated.
Need assistance with your trade show planning – including mail, displays, marketing materials and promotional products? Just ask. We’re your local, full-service resource for all these services—and more.