Marketing at Tradeshows in 2014 and Beyond

Now that 2013 has come to an end, many companies will begin examining their marketing efforts from the year, evaluating their effectiveness, and creating their plan for 2014. If exhibiting at tradeshows is a component of your marketing plan, why not make 2014 the year that tradeshows really pay off? If you can market your company effectively on the tradeshow floor, you can make your investment, both time and monetary, worthwhile.

Do your homework, make sure you are at the right shows! This is the number one rule of exhibiting and marketing at tradeshow! Don’t just get caught up in all the hype with the big, fancy tradeshows. Do your research. Find out which shows your customer base attends. Maybe a much smaller, more targeted show is better for your company, or maybe the larger shows are the best choice. Either way, don’t waste your time and money exhibiting at a show until you have a firm understanding of who will be there.

Choose a promotion that will attract your target market.Onceyou have decided which show is right for you, make sure you focus your promotion on your target market. What kind of promotion would be most exciting, encouraging participation? Consider the industry, age group, and interests of the attendees before making your decision. If possible, consider using your actual booth space as part of your promotion. Design new graphics, or have additional signage in your booth with details on your promotion.

Use all available outlets to market at the show. There are so many options available to get your name out at the show. Be sure to use established social media outlets, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to give special announcements or highlights from the show. But don’t stop there, think outside the box – don’t forget about word of mouth marketing at the show. Why not create a buzz with your promotion. Or purchase promotional items that draw attention. When attendees see a cool item on the floor, they will come looking for it.

Have the right booth staff. Make sure you have staff in your booth who are qualified to represent your company. Make sure they can talk about all your products and services and qualify leads. Motivate your staff! Run a contest or offer a bonus for the best performing staff member. Whether you choose to use an incentive or not, it is important you have qualified staff in your booth. You may even need to consider offering training before the show.

It’s easy to get lost in the crowd at a tradeshow. But, with a well prepared and executed marketing plan for the show, 2014 could be the year you get noticed.

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