It’s important to always market a trade show with your website in mind.
After all, consumers take to the Internet when researching products or services of interest.
While a trade show is all about networking and connecting in person, the overall goal should be to drive people back to your website. That’s where the true value lies.
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Since you’ve already built your entire trade show booth around a new, original offer, your focus should be to drive everyone who stops by your booth to its corresponding landing page.
Consider your audience. What level of the buying process will they be at? You want your offer to be consistent with this.
Create an Awesome Experience
When most people think trade shows, they’re often flooded with visions of cell phone kiosks at the mall, complete with salesmen tossing pamphlets and spitting sales pitches at them at rapid pace.
An experience shouldn’t be intrusive.
If you’re pushing marketing collateral, or even worse, a sale on attendees, they’re going to feel more like they’re passing that cell phone kiosk at the mall rather than an engaging trade show booth.
When people start coming up to your booth, don’t be intrusive. You want to have a meaningful conversation with those individuals.
Context is about knowing more about your prospects, and as a result, providing them content – or an experience – that they’ll feel more invested in.
At our last trade show, we took the list of all exhibitors at the event and ran them through HubSpot’s Marketing Grader about a month before the event. We then printed a “scoreboard” that we displayed at the trade show, which as you could imagine, turned many heads as people were curious why their company was listed on the board.
More importantly, they wanted to know more about their score. It ensured quality conversations.
How can you introduce a little context to your trade show?
A Reason to Stop
Are you giving people a reason to stop by your booth? Aside from that cookie-cutter table with your boring key chains and print collateral?
A cool flag item goes a long way in regards to getting people to stop. However, you don’t want people simply swinging by your booth to grab some cool swag and be on their way.
Focus on something that attendees can see from several booths away. It can even be as simple as putting comfortable couches in your booth. Remember, attendees are on their feet all day. A couch is a welcome oasis.
Get creative. Cardboard cutouts that attendees can place their faces in and take pictures will create a fun atmosphere. Pictures get shared. This is an easy way to increase your brand recognition.
Make Your Trade Show Web Friendly
By now you probably feel like any print collateral you plan on featuring is a bad idea.
Not the case.
The focus of your print collateral is now to introduce attendees to the features of your campaign offer, and also to provide a URL in order for them to visit the landing page later on.
So rather than trying to explain everything your company does in one content-heavy, boring brochure, focus the entire theme of all print collateral on promoting your unique offer.
Not end up in the bottom of someone’s trash bin 45 minutes post trade show.
Enable On-Site Lead Generation
In order to fully integrate inbound marketing into your next trade show, it’s critical that you’re able to generate leads on-site.
No more of this polite yet cold exchange of business cards (although this does still hold value). Don’t count on people calling you back or even remembering who you are in order to experience an ROI from your trade show efforts.
Remember, they’re going to be leaving with a stack of business cards, with intent of maybe connecting with a small fraction of them.
Develop the relationship on the spot.
“If you’d like, we can enter your name and email and have the exclusive offer sent over to you right away to check out later tonight.”
Utilize technology. Bring an iPad. If nothing else, come equipped with a laptop. You’re much more likely to develop a relationship if you have something scheduled or downloaded on the spot.
Staying with the iPad theme, enable trade show attendees to access your content right in your booth. This not only improves the user experience, but it also conveys a rather impressive image for your company as being ahead of the technology curve.
Have your calendar up and easily accessible. Schedule meetings and consultations in person. No pens, pencils, and business cards that are sure to get lost in the shuffle.
Develop a system to allow attendees to enter their contact information in exchange for your exclusive offer. In the age of mobile devices and on demand content, people will appreciate the timeliness in which they’ll be able to digest your content.
Really want to impress your booth visitors?
Include unique QR codes on all of your collateral, flag items, or any other marketing material that when scanned using their iPhone, direct them straight to the landing page for your exclusive offer.