This guest post was supplied on behalf of exhibition stand contractors RB Design & Display. For more exhibition marketing tips and stand design inspiration visit their website.
Trade show marketing is an extremely effective way to boost your company’s profile, and boost your sales. But it can also be challenging.
With marketing budgets squeezed, you may be left wondering how you can get the maximum return on your investment. Despite all these current challenges, it is easier than you might think to make the most of your next exhibition:
1. Do your homework
Before you sign your business up for an event, make sure you do your homework.
First, research a variety of events – from local to international – to see which will give you the best bang for your buck. Even as a seasoned exhibitor, it is extremely beneficial to research all the potential leads out there.
When you’ve settled on an event, research the successes and failures of the last few shows. Who showcases there? How well do they do? What is the main audience like? Read blog posts and reviews on the event to get a real sense of what works and what doesn’t.
2. Plan your budget
Many companies are cutting back on their budgets, so you’ll need to make the most of the funds available to you.
Work out exactly what you need to buy – do you need an exhibition stand or is your existing one still relevant? – and how much money you have to play with. Work on a budget with all members of your team, to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
The best kind of ROI is one that more than exceeds what you spent initially.
3. Set attainable goals
Once you’ve worked out your budget, your next step is to create a strong set of attainable goals. These are goals that reflect your budget, and the ROI you would like to achieve. More than this though, they should be goals that you can achieve.
What exactly is it you want to achieve? Do you want to make a certain number of sales? Are you looking to generate a particular number of enquires? Do you want to increase your email newsletter sign up?
Whatever you want to do, make the goals something you can achieve. You want to be pushed, but you need to be if you want the best possible ROI.
4. Make the most of your marketing
To get the biggest bang for your marketing buck, you need prospects to attend the trade show. But if you don’t carry out the right level of pre-event marketing, how will they know they can find you?
Send out direct mail and email marketing shots to inform people of your attendance. Use social media to create a buzz by joining in Twitter chats and hashtags, joining LinkedIn groups, and more. Include exhibitor numbers and information in your email signature, and more.
Make sure everyone knows about the event, and you will generate more leads. More leads will become more sales, which will boost your trade show ROI.
5. Don’t neglect on-the-day experiences
Your promotional efforts shouldn’t end pre-event though.
In order to generate the best possible ROI, you need to give people a great on-the-day experience. That includes making sure your booth is properly manned, offering incentives such as freebies, and running giveaways.
If you make your exhibition stand a nice place to be, people will stick around. If you can keep people on your stand engaged, they are much more likely to buy from you.
Increasing your trade show ROI doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In fact, if you approach it like all your marketing efforts, you should experience great success. After all, face-to-face marketing will never lose its appeal.