Tips for boosting traffic at your trade show booth – PART 1
Planning ahead and skipping the gimmicks and tricks is the secret to standing out with your trade show booth.
Practically all trade shows have costumes, clowns and caricaturists, and beguiling women flirting and handing out fillers to help rake in an audience to a lackluster booth. However one wonders if any of this showiness of the showroom floor actually helps draw attention to attendees that generate reliable leads.
Susan Friedmann, the industry consultant “The Tradeshow Coach” says not to depend on booth babes. Instead, people have to do something really serious about exhibiting. She also states that with several hundred thousand dollars getting invested in a trade show, you have to make sure you get some return on your investments too.
According to experts, no matter if you plan to fill a spreadsheet with sales leads, generate some buzz for new products or just increase your brand awareness, it is not actually wise to rely on random booth traffic. You have to make sure you plan early to not only create an inventive and effective booth; you should also get the right people look out for you.
Ruth P.Stevens, a business-to-business marketing consultant and the president of eMarketing Strategy says that many show marketers leave it to show organizers to generate traffic on the show floor. However he states that it’s not possible to put complete responsibility to the show organizers to get the required traffic. You have to instead take some aggressive action.
Plan ahead to generate traffic to your trade show booth
Experts and trade show consultants state that based on a statistic illustrative of the dangers of leaving convention or leaving traffic to chance is that about 70% of the show attendees plan lists of whom they plan to visit before they even enter the convention center doors. They state that this number proves the power and necessity of a pre-show outreach.
Instead, Stevens suggests using a two-pronged approach. The first is to approach the in-house file of regular customers, solid prospects and local contacts. The other approach is targeting the registered attendees of the show.
Stevens states that if you buy a booth, most organizers grant you access to this list. He also states that you need to conduct some outreach to them or at least some attendees who may be interested in you, using direct mail, email or the phone.
David Brull the vice president of membership and marketing for the Trade Show Exhibitors Association says that while e-mailing contacts lists is the cheapest means of spreading information about an upcoming trade show or conference, snail mail not only still works but is also the best means of communicating an upcoming event.
He states that a postcard is very effective and the odd-sized ones are better as they don’t just blend in to end up in the trash. He states that one person had shaped their postcard like a fish, and this really attracted people.
At the same time, put in some efforts to contact and meet your local suppliers, clients and anyone you do business with in the locality of your show. This is a great way to face folks you otherwise would not have sat down with and make sure you and your employees don’t waste time-minding an empty booth.
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