Is Your Trade Show Booth Attracting Customers Or Warm Bodies?
When your company is marketing at a trade show, your team gets the opportunity to engage prospects fact to face, to read them, to place your products in their hands, and to convert them to customers. There are tons of advice floating around about how to attract traffic to your booth, and while its true that marketing is a matter of numbers, it's also true that companies can waste a lot of money attracting and courting the wrong traffic. You can buy cold leads for about fifteen cents each; how much does it cost you to hand out swag to cold leads at a trade show? The approach you take depends on what you're selling, but even if you're selling something that any home or business could use, you can make a plan that allows you to get better value for your marketing dollar. Your team can work cold leads from the office; working a trade show is a huge opportunity to close bigger sales faster.
Do You Need A Wide Net Or A Specific Lure?
If your product or service has broad appeal and application, you can cast a wide net to bring in traffic; your success is going to depend most heavily your sales team's ability to close. Your marketing efforts will, of course, build brand recognition and product familiarity and attract people to come talk to your sales team, but even with a more diverse pool of prospects, you don't have to work under the constraints of that cold lead scenario. Once your team in on the floor of a trade show, they should be set up to beat the performance of cold-lead sales at all times.
If the thing you're selling is for a niche market, you don't want to cast a wide net at all, because you don't want your sales team tied up with warm bodies who are not qualified prospects – are never going to become buyers – at all. This situation takes more advance work, and a very specific set of lures designed to attract the notice of your actual buyers without drawing large numbers of non-prospects. Design your marketing efforts so that genuine prospects self-select and present themselves, receptive to what your sales team has to offer.
Tactics To Attract The Right Traffic To Your Trade Show Booth
- Get Them Charged Up - If you're trying to attract a broad spectrum of visitors, you can give your sales team an advantage by designing your booth to keep those visitors around for a few extra minutes. There are going to be multiple booths with charging stations available, and people will actually think about which booth they're willing to spend time in to get charged. Your friendly sales team get a little extra time to work their magic on people who have chosen to your booth.
- Calm Their Nerves - Even the most seasoned attendee can get frazzled at a big trade show, and frazzled people are not typically very receptive. If your company is using a wide-net strategy, another great way to get people to choose to spend time in your booth is to set up a massage chair. If your display includes a conference room, that's a perfect place. If, like most exhibitors, you don't have a conference room in your booth, you can set aside a space using custom graphic banner stands. You don't need a fully enclosed space, just a visual impression of separate space, which is easy to do with one or two banner stands. Give people a chance to slow down and relax, and you will likely find them in a more receptive frame of mind!
- Issue Invitations - When you need to reach a more specific set of prospects, you can make your team's job at the show a lot easier with some carefully planned advance work. If you do this right, prospects will screen themselves and the ones who come to your booth at the show will be receptive to your message and more ready to buy. In fact, when people are serious about buying at a show, they often make a list of vendors they plan to visit, so give those buyers a reason to put your booth on the list. Use email and social media to invite them: Mention highlights like any speaking engagements your team has during the show; product previews or debuts; special events like a brown bag lunch at your booth or an evening reception; and, of course, special offers like exclusive value bundles or show pricing.
- Use The Shiny Lure Correctly - It's easy to collect a huge stack of cold contacts at a trade show by giving away some cool gadget like an iPad. The trouble is that, if you're trying to attract buyers in a certain niche, most of those leads will be worthless to you. Think about your specific buyer. What is he or she going to be excited for a chance to win, but someone outside your market would probably walk right by? For example, if your company manufactures infiltrometers, your prospects are going to be hydrogeologists and engineers. Those prospects would go crazy for a chance to win a laser range finder, but people outside your prospect pool are far less likely to want one. Your investment in the shiny lure is actually an investment in getting the genuine prospects to show themselves.
Bring Qualified Prospects To Your Trade Show Booth
By planning ahead with publicity, promotions, and a trade show booth that supports your marketing goals, you can position your team to bring back receipts, not lukewarm leads. For more marketing ideas and expert help designing your custom graphics and trade show booth, contact Exhibitor Source online or by phone at 615-287-9800.