How can you work with a partner at a tradeshow? What can collaboration do to cut your tradeshow marketing costs and help spread your company’s name around a bit more?
While there are some benefits to be gained by working with partners in any endeavor, there are trade-offs to consider as well.
Share a Booth
Let’s say you’re a small company that struggles to come up with money for booth space and exhibit rental. If this is the case you might consider contacting a company that, while not a direct competitor, is at least in your industry and would benefit from exhibiting at the same show.
By renting the booth space together, you’re splitting the cost of both the space and the exhibit. Of course, you only get half a booth. Depending on your offerings, however, that might be a good fit and a good way to get your name out into the marketplace.
Another benefit comes when staffing the booth. By paring down the booth size and splitting with a partner, you need less people overall. While you would obviously want to have your side of the booth staffed, in some shows and situations one benefit would be to spell the other guy while he’s on a break.
Promote Each Other’s Products
Here’s a promotion that I’ve seen done successfully. Find another 4 or 5 exhibitors that are complementary to your company – but not direct competitors – and create a traffic-generation promotion. Create a map of the show floor highlighing the five participating booths, print it on bright paper, give each booth a stamp. Offer prizes from each exhibitor to be drawn from all maps that are stamped by all exhibitors and submitted. This encourages more traffic to each booth. Of course it’s up to you to take advantage of the additional traffic with your own offerings.
Social Media Pumping
Whether you’re on Twitter or Facebook, you can easily work out a similar promotion. However, instead of doing it on-site, do it online. Each vendor sets up a series of tweets via Hootsuite.com to drive traffic to their own – and their collaborator’s – booth. By doing this, you’re taking advantage of each other’s community, exposing all of the separate exhibitor’s online communities to all of the others.
Team Up To Impress
If you have a partner company that you work well with, float the idea of doing a ‘team dinner/party’ to expose each of the company’s to the other’s community. Company A invites a dozen or so clients, Company B does the same. The two companies split the tab. Everybody gets to know everyone else. Imagine if you could ramp this up to three, four or five companies.
With all of the various companies that exhibit at any given show, how can you leverage the event to help your company and assist another company for the greater good? Can you come up with a single product together? Can you combine two products for a single offering? A real estate company might team with a home staging company to offer a special deal at a show. A software designer might team with one of his clients to create a custom version of the software for a larger, different market.
There’s really no end to the amount of ways that you can collaborate with other exhibitors to bring both (or all) of you more business.
Get on your thinkin’ cap!