It's not surprising that in the lead up to a big trade show that PLENTY of attendees and exhibitors are going to be using Google and social media to find out info about the event. What is surprising is that few people in the trade use online ads to target these attendees to increase your firm's name recognition and offering.
This stage is the right time to utilize Google's and Facebook's advanced audience targeting to reach your trade show attendees on the cheap. There are any number of ways to engage your audience with online paid ads.
Example: For Example, Issue a press release BEFORE the event or trade show using established PR distribution channels such as PRWeb.
This will cost between $100 and $200 dollars but will place you on Google News and sometimes Yahoo News as well. Trade Show attendees looking online for info on a fast-approaching trade show will be seeing your pr release and linked social media posts.
Ninja Bonus Tip: Use your social media to post useful tips and advice that is of general interest to attendees, not just those who might be your specific customers. Make your posts worth reading and then tag your post visitors with a Facebook pixel or Google cookie.
Remember, you're not trying to sell here, you want to attract as many eyeballs as possible. Make your post worthwhile to read. Then initiate banner ads and reminders to follow these visitors around the web for the next week before the event. Your company recognition will jump!
Enlist informed trade show exhibit staff that is competent and able to connect with and educate your customer prospects.
Make sure you have qualified staff available to meet with key prospects. At the trade show booth, match up your representatives well with the positions of those who visit your trade show display.
For example, if engineers visit your booth, engage them with your engineering personnel. Prepare your trade show exhibit staff on how to engage, identify, and qualify important leads and how to courteously dismiss those who are not qualified business prospects.
There are many good ways to attract trade show attendees to your display. In addition to pre-mailers and email alerts, you can build on-site traffic to your booth with a dramatic, attention-getting hanging sign.
Upon entering the trade show exhibit hall, the first thing attendees do is look up. Your overhead sign can be a beacon with its unique design, shape, and movement. Gobo lights traveling across tension fabric can provide changing color and mesmerizing interest.
Technologies such as 3D video/laser image displays suspended above, your own interactive website on a large screen, robotics, holographics, and waterscreen projections bring high drama to your trade show booth.
BONUS TIP- Low Tech Approach For those with less budget and seeking a more low-tech approach, source cheap bottled water and print out your own bottle labels with company logo and phone number, website, etc- and paste your label over the bottle. Hand these out to show goers.
Consider giving your booth staff evaluation forms to be able to instantly rank your visitors and prospects as highly qualified, somewhat qualified, or poorly qualified. Have your sales force follow up on highly qualified leads immediately.
Studies show that the longer you delay in contacting or following up with trade show visitors, the more your conversion sales rate takes a huge dive.
After the trade show is over, be sure to follow up immediately on your top-level prospects. Don't just hit up your prospects with a straight sales pitch. Have a valuable newsletter or info content item to share with them if they are not at a decision-making stage.
Here would be a good time to invite your prospects to join your social media followers to keep them in your orbit. You've made the valuable connection, now keep the conversation going. This is where your social media outreach needs to get involved.
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