Is it as easy as setting up a booth, smiling as visitors come by, and asking a few questions?
Sure, that’s some of it. But creating a mindset in your team for tradeshow marketing involves more.
So let’s capture a few items that are critical in creating a tradeshow marketing mindset:
- Realize that all of your visitors are rushing around and want to visit as many booths as possible. Which really means, don’t waste their time.
- Some thing: you have hundreds of people you’d like to see. Don’t let unqualified visitors waste your time.
- Prepare for a marathon. Three or four days of standing, meeting, greeting, collecting information, giving demos and answering questions can take it out of anyone. Make sure you’re in good physical shape prior to the big event.
With the fast proliferation of mobile devices, your customers are connected to their world through the smartphone they carry. They do research, make connections, pay bills, find a nearby restaurant and more while on the move. Realize how this affects your marketing message and methods and learn how to reach them on this platform while they’re on the move at a tradeshow.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare. I can’t stress this enough. Too many exhibitors think about things a few weeks ahead and try to make major (or even minor) changes without putting thought into it or knowing how much time things change. From graphic changes to booth makeovers to staff training to pre-show marketing and post-show followup, know how much time all the items take and work backwards from the show date.
- While a tradeshow is a single, specific event, the online discussion around it will start weeks prior to the show and will continue for weeks afterwards. When you are targeting a show, be sure to listen to the chatter by monitoring the show hashtag, and prepare what you’ll do with sharing information, photos and videos for weeks after the show as the energy dies down.
- You’re one of hundreds, or thousands of other exhibitors. There are only a few ways to stand out: have a freakin’ awesome booth that stops people in their tracks, have something going on in your booth space that compels them to stop such as a professional demo or interactive activity, create a pre-show marketing message and campaign so powerful that people make a stop at your booth one of their priorities or have a product that everyone needs or wants to see NOW.
- Once the show is over, your work is not done. To make the show worthwhile, all of those leads and related information must be delivered to the right sales folks to follow up in a timely manner. Again, the race is still underway and you’ll have competitors who are following up within 24-48 hours. What’s your follow up plan?
Mindset is everything. The more you’re prepared for what tradeshow marketing and execution entails, the better your results!