Trade shows are an incredibly important part of many B2B marketing strategies. In a relatively short amount of time, they allow you to meet highly targeted leads face-to-face and give your pitch. However, if you're exhibiting, it can be easy for your business to get lost in a sea of other exhibits.
How do you stand out and make sure your trade show was a success? Follow these three tips...
1) Listen more than you talk.
Having an elevator pitch is important but it won't help your leads become customers until it's hyper-focused on them. That's why it's important to start each interaction at your booth with a series of questions to determine the lead's pain points. From there, you can mold your pitch so that each issue they are currently facing can be flipped into a benefit that your business provides. Focus on the attendees needs and the trade show experience will be less of a pitch and more of a budding relationship.
2) Don't skimp on your trade show display.
According to Exhibit Surveys, a leading event market research firm, 45% of trade show attendees don't plan to participate in any other exhibitions or events (based on a 2012 study). That means you won't see the about half the attendees again at another event so it's extremely important to keep foot traffic high at your booth. How do you do that? Make your display remarkable. The old adage, "don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't hold true in the trade show world. People are psychologically drawn to exciting, colorful, and grand exhibits at trade shows. The display could be the make or break factor in your entire trade show experience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing it...
- Have a Hook-Regardless of what you're promoting, why should someone stop by your booth, even if they don't know what you're selling? Some people use games, others use food. Pick a "hook" that resonates with your target audience and use it to draw them in.
- Be Memorable-Attendees may stop by hundreds of booths at your trade show. What will make them remember yours? The key is to create an experience within your exhibit. Check out some of these case studies from FreemanXP, a top brand experience agency, on how the worlds biggest companies are using exhibits to create memorable experiences for their attendees.
- Make it Fun -Regardless of what you're selling, attendees will associate positive feelings with your business if they enjoy themselves on their first interaction. Make sure your booth is entertaining, friendly, and interactive.
3. End with a strong call to action.
You've created an enticing exhibit, attendees are enjoying themselves, and you're building relationships. But how do you make sure that attendees become leads. This is where a strong call to action comes in handy. Prior to your trade show, outline your B2B marketing funnel and identify what the next step is to bring in the lead.
The three main components of an effective B2B marketing funnel are: build awareness, persuade, convert. If you've done your job at the trade show, building awareness of what you have to offer should be checked off. Now it's your job to persuade them to buy. That could mean anything from a live demo of your product/service to a meeting with higher-ups at the company. Make sure that your call to action is specific in the goal you're looking to accomplish in order to get the attendee to the next step.