It’s surprising how many companies who exhibit at trade shows gear all their efforts toward building an effective sales path but fail to grab the opportunity to increase brand awareness at trade shows. It’s not an either/or proposition. In fact, there are many things you can do, some very simple, others more ambitious, that will not only boost today’s bottom line with improved sales but also build brand recognition and awareness that will turn your sales path into a super-highway in the future. Start seizing those opportunities now and watch both your sales and your brand awareness increase steadily toward an even more profitable future.
- Update Your Advance Marketing – If you’re involved with exhibiting at trade shows, advance marketing is probably nothing new to you, but you may not be aware that the most effective kinds of advance marketing have evolved, and will keep changing steadily as your customers and prospects discover new ways to stay connected. Right now, social media is a big deal in marketing, but it’s not effective for everything you want to accomplish with advance marketing. Use social media to build general interest and for announcements. Don’t overlook direct invitations for customers and prospects. Craft an email invitation that gives those valuable contacts a reason to add your booth to their list of must-see vendors; yes, serious buyers go to trade shows with a list. Make sure you’re on it!
- Top-Down Booth Branding – Design your exhibit space so that it blends brand marketing and sales support seamlessly. Start at the top with your logo and name, then your brand message, and then place messages about your products and your unique selling proposition (USP) closer to eye level. Remember that when it comes to marketing and sales, people respond more strongly to visual images than to words. Keep the text to a minimum, and be sure the fonts and colors you use are in line with your branding package, to help ensure consistency throughout the exhibit. Use as few words as you can to express an idea, and include lots of white space around any text.
- Hitch A Ride On Social Media – One of the things social media does best, in terms of marketing, is encouraging people to share your brand, message, and products with others who may not have encountered them otherwise. How do you get visitors to send your message out into the world beyond the convention hall? Social media is a fickle master, but one of the best techniques is to create a visual that people will want to take selfies with. Design all of your visuals to include your name, logo, QR code or URL, and a hashtag, so that all that information goes along with the pictures people share. When visitors also tag the trade show in their posts, you attract more people who are actually at the show, along with others who aren’t there but are searching that hashtag because they’re interested in seeing who and what is at that show. Be sure your website’s landing page and interior content are prepared to hook those visitors who discover you on social media and watch your brand awareness grow!