Big industry events generate a lot of opportunities to make valuable connections. Industry experts and the heads of innovative startups are often sitting side-by-side, creating a great chance to further your business.
Success with lead generation at these events is essential to growing revenue, but it depends on a number of factors. There is more to working a trade show than simply renting a space and putting up a few banners. These tips can help you become more effective at capturing leads during your next event.
Choose offense over defense
To develop new relationships, you have to bring people in. With this in mind, design your exhibit with fun and memorable displays to capture attention. You should be aggressive (but not overly so) in speaking to people walking past your booth. They may not seem interested, but that is just because they don't realize what a great product you offer.
"Don't just buy space and expect miracles because that's like Russian roulette," trade show coach Susan Friedmann told INC. "Maybe you win, maybe you won't. It's an expensive exercise just to find out it doesn't work."
One common trick is to offer free items, but you should always be careful about how you use this tactic. People may love taking free stress balls, but these usually just end up in the trash. This is not the type of impression you want to make, so be sure to think outside the box to present something that is uniquely "you."
Focus on quality leads
Some good preshow advertising can help you attract visitors and make the expense of a tradeshow worth the effort. Using email and marketing campaigns can help you generate excitement from your target audience, but while this can help you find the right connections during events, you should spend some time to qualify each potential lead. Focusing on quality will increase your chances of successfully moving these customers down the sales funnel.
Get interactive to get people talking
The Trade Show Network noted that one of the most common mistakes exhibitors make with their trade show strategies is failing to use social media. Social networks are an excellent channel for preshow marketing, but they can also help continue conversations after a show. Adding attendees to your social networks lets you maintain contact with potential customers and can make your exhibit more interactive. One strategy is to run a contest over Facebook or Twitter to create some excitement and generate positive press.
Don't limit yourself to social media. Video can help attract people to your booth and provide basic information, while other technology is helping companies improve product demonstrations. Tablets have become a valuable tool for creating a memorable exhibit because they let attendees learn on their own.
Be sure you don't rely too heavily on technology, as people remember exhibitors who are able to answer their questions in a positive and engaging manner. The right staff can make a big difference in the success of a trade show. However, even with an all-star cast, it is important to properly support those who will be working your booth. Be sure that each person is adequately trained and aware of the overall objective of the trade show. If it is to promote a new product, make sure staff members are able to answer any questions that may arise.
Beyond being knowledgeable, employees should also be energetic in their interactions. Be sure to motivate and inspire them to have fun. Potential customers or business partners will notice this enthusiasm, which will make the sale much easier.