You’re heard the saying ‘it’s all in the details.’ Details are important. People notice them. Don’t leave details to chance; you can be derailed by forgetting details (hey I just made that up!).
But what about the BIG PICTURE? Most marketers assume that tradeshow marketing is an effective method for marketing your product or service. But that’s not necessarily the truth.
First, figure out IF it’s something that will work for your company. That may mean asking other similar companies (even competitors) about their experiences. If possible, find out if they succeeded or failed and WHY. Their failure to get a good response does not necessarily reflect on your results. Until you know details about why the failed, their results won’t mean anything to you.
Get information on the specific show. Who’s exhibiting, who attends, how the show is marketed, and are the folks in your target market attending the show in significant numbers?
Next, make a marketing plan for each show. That’s right, EACH SHOW. After all, each show has a different audience and a different group of exhibitors. Examine how you’ll draw attendees to your booth; what’s your follow-up methodology; who’s going to staff the booth, what specific products/services you intend to promote at the show. The more accurate your plan, the more likely the plan will play out the way it’s supposed to.
Another part of the Big Picture is: what does management really want to happen? Often a company will decide to attend a tradeshow but the reason and strategy behind are not communicated effectively to the tradeshow team.
Finally, part of your plan should include a show debriefing. What’s the ROI? How many leads? How many follow up sales or real prospects? And most of all – what can you do better the next time?
While there are a lot of details to managing tradeshow marketing (tradeshow marketing directors MUST be detail-oriented people!), before you get too deep, get a view from 30,000 feet. Know the big picture. It’ll help you to pursue the right details when you hit the trenches.