Trade shows and other industry events offer great opportunities to network, build brand awareness and get prospects into your pipeline. With the chaos that comes with attending or presenting at an event, it’s important to have a strategy that aligns with your goals. Here we outline some of the most important steps to take to maximize your trade show ROI.
A successful event begins with a detailed plan that is prepared well ahead of time. Things to take into consideration include who will be attending, what topics or products you will promote and whether to exhibit or simply attend. Identify the companies and decision makers that you want to target with your efforts. Accommodations and all financial matters should be resolved in advance so the sole focus of your trip can be improving your business.
Streamlining your networking process and simplifying how you exchange information will play a large role in the overall success of your plan. At a busy event it can be difficult to get the ear of your target audience. Provide detailed contact information so that prospects can connect with you on their preferred platform. Knowing your audience and having a firm grasp on your company’s solutions will make your interactions more efficient and effective.
Increasing the reach of your brand to a highly targeted audience is one of the major objectives of attending trade shows. Handing out branded merchandise that is useful in everyday business life is a good way to make your brand memorable. For example, you could give away branded zip drives pre-loaded with education content, templates and tools. The uniqueness of your giveaway will provide the first impression and the usefulness will extend its shelf life.
In most cases you won’t be closing any deals at an event so having a strategic plan to follow up and nurture your prospects is of the utmost importance. You should have email workflows and teleprospecting campaigns in place to guide potential clients through the buying process. Identify pain points through networking efforts to determine what types of content to use in your campaigns. This will allow you to personalize your messaging and yield better results.
“While it’s unlikely you closed any sales on the spot at the show (but if you did, we’d love to hear your success stories), you’ve certainly built momentum and you’re likely light years ahead of your competitors. Your post-show activity, along with the business case, will drive you to sale closure and you’ll soon realize your trade show ROI.” – ROI Selling
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