Practical tips for pre-show event marketing
Exhibitions are a great way to get your company noticed in both business and consumer markets. Being able to meet and interact with dozens of potential new customers is a thrill in itself, never mind the long-term benefits of forging new business links in your sector. Generating interest in your company before a trade show is vital if you want to hit the ground running and gain new clients. Which means that your marketing team needs to be working like a well-oiled machine in the build up to the event.
You might be sceptical about the glitz and glamour of exhibitions, but there is real value to attending a trade show.
Face to face interaction is the best way to ensure that potential clients experience your company performing under pressure in a fast-paced environment. It is also a great opportunity to test your staff’s people skills. Don’t underestimate the value of an inviting smile or a firm handshake.
It is a great way to stake out the opposition and study their methods. See what they do well, and what they fall down on. Then apply that to your own company! Finally, exhibitions allow you to network with your peers and rekindle business relationships which might have been neglected because of your busy schedule.
Our Guide to maximising your event
These are recommendations of techniques you can use to help your investment in an event work harder for you.
Today, Social Media is a vital tool for spreading the word about your business. At the recent Dreamforce conference, Richard Branson said that companies which don’t embrace these tools have their ‘heads in the sand.’
Your marketing team needs to analyse the various social media platforms before deciding which ones will give your company maximum exposure before the event.
Social Media might be new territory for your business, but it will help you to compete effectively. As well as Twitter and Facebook, sites such as Pinterest and Youtube can be used to host different types of content.
- Identify unique selling points
Too much PR re-treads the same tired old routine before an exhibition: how established you are, or how valuable your business is to the wider community etc. Remember, exhibitions don’t come along too often, so it’s a chance to delve into your company profile and pull out some unique facts that can act as a memorable selling point to potential customers at the trade show.
Even if you are delving into Social Media to gain maximum exposure, it can be tempting to play it safe by sticking to plain old written press releases. Wouldn’t it be better to use all the tools at your disposal?
Think about putting together a video, you can embed it within your site and within Youtube. Creating a slideshow of product photographs, illustrating how your products are made, for sites such as Instagram.
By tapping into Social Media across the board, you give yourself a bigger chance of snaring potential clients.
- Harness the power Of LinkedIn
With all this talk of Social Media, don’t forget to use LinkedIn to raise your profile. The networking site had over 175 million users across 200 countries as of June 2012.
Use it to network with Journalists for press campaigns by finding their contact details quickly and efficiently. Join and monitor relevant groups to your industry and event. If there are any discussions you feel are relevant and where you could add value to then get involved.
Don’t forget to utilise your existing database of clients and prospects. Let them know that you will be attending the event, where they can find you and most importantly why they should come and find you.
Exhibitions are great for meeting new clients, but they are also a great way of cementing existing relationships.
We hope that you have found this guide useful. It’s not definitive, but we feel that if you take these points on board, your next exhibition will be a resounding success!