With in-person trade shows and conferences slowly starting to make a comeback, we thought it would be a good idea to put together some best practices as all of us are surely a bit rusty with our live event strategy. Prior to the pandemic, in-person events were one of the top ways to meet new prospects, build relationships and generate leads. They also served as a great learning experience and an opportunity to grow brand recognition. With that in mind, we've put together a few tips on how to get the most out of in-person events.
Set Clear Goals And Objectives
Much like any other marketing initiative, it is important to have clear goals and objectives before attending a trade show. Having a set plan will help your team be more organized and get the most significant ROI from your attendance. Have written goals as well as a game plan for seeking out prospects and meeting with potential clients.
Send Enough Of The Right People
This will largely depend on the focus of the conference and what your objectives are. When selecting who should attend, you may want to take into consideration possible sales opportunities as well as a chance to train future marketers or salespeople. Having two shifts of people to operate your booth will ensure that everyone who visits will get a fresh and energetic pitch.
Create An Eye-Catching Booth Design
Your booth should be easy to spot and showcase your brand. Branded banners, tablecloths, and signage should be included but not overdone. Some key items to consider are your available space, the number of attendees, product placement, and presentation materials. Having a large monitor to run a Prezi or PowerPoint presentation will help to draw in foot traffic.
Focus On A Few Featured Products
Knowing your audience and their specific pain points is integral when determining which products to feature in your demonstrations. Determine who you're selling to and focus on solutions that will fit their needs. Allowing attendees to demo your product will enable them to see the actual benefits of your products and ask questions based on their experiences.
Develop Content Personalized To The Audience
If you have specific companies or individuals, you would like to connect with. You may consider creating personalized content. This can be anything from a pdf download to a microsite built specifically for them. High-level personalization will show your prospects you are serious about doing business with them and believe the relationship is a good fit.
Have A Variety Of Methods For Contact Capture
Many people still use QR codes or bowls for business cards to capture leads, which can be effective but cumbersome and time-consuming. Having a tablet where you can quickly enter leads in real-time will make things easier for both you and your prospects. Be sure you include a space for internal notes so you can personalize your follow-ups.
Prioritize Highly Targeted Accounts
Prioritizing which prospects you would like to spend your focus on will help you navigate your next trade show efficiently. While you're not looking to brush off any potential customers, attending trade shows can be expensive, and maximizing your time with top accounts should be a priority.
Give Out High Quality Swag Materials
Small branded items make a great way to expand your brand's reach and even garner the attention of attendees if it's impressive or unique. Items that can be used in everyday life are especially effective as your brand will be in front of them well past the show. Some examples include zip drives, t-shirts, key chains, and miscellaneous office products.
Create Exclusive Event Offers
Promoting free trials or discounts available to event attendees only can help get your foot in the door with key accounts and help build relationships with those you may already be nurturing. Carefully consider your offers to ensure they fit the needs of your audience and budgetary limits.
Promote Your Attendance Through Social Media
Social media can be used to promote your attendance before, during, and after an event. This will help build a buzz around your presentation and help improve social media engagement metrics.
We're all excited that in-person events are finally happening again. Whether you're hosting, attending, or sponsoring, being able to get back to face-to-face interactions is a welcome return back to normal.
Winn Technology Group is a leading provider of multi-channel growth marketing solutions. Working exclusively with the technology, healthcare, and financial industries over the last 30 years, Winn has partnered with hundreds of leading firms to develop and execute successful B2B marketing campaigns. Click below to learn how Winn can help make your next campaign a success!