Do you believe your company can get more bang for its trade show marketing dollars if you employed a different strategy? If so, the next step is to convince your boss that you need a new approach. But be warned; no one is going to be at all interested in hearing that there is a problem with the status quo unless you are able to present an alternative. Here are some steps you can take to make certain you find the best strategy for your next show.
Analyze Your Choice of Shows
One major factor of an effective marketing strategy is choosing the best trade shows that attract your target audience. What kind of trade shows has your company attended in the past? Do you market in industry-specific shows, general shows or a combination of both? Gather the statistical data from the events you have attended and see which shows have been most effective in garnering new business. Part of your strategy may include recommendations regarding increasing or changing your venues.
Scope out the Competition
The next step is to find out what your competition is doing. The goal is not to imitate, but to determine what the current presentation trends are and which ones draw the largest crowds. Spend some time visiting the trade show booths that command the most interest and analyze their strategies. Do they use interactive media? What kind of lighting is employed? Is there a video feed? How are their graphics arranged and displayed? Do they have demonstrations or is product available for the customers to handle? Are these booths run by a single vendor or are they a co-op between complimentary businesses? Take notes and look for any factors these booths have in common.
Apply the Data
After you have gathered your information apply the concepts and techniques you have observed to your particular company and products. Try to employ strategies that will reach your visitors through sight, sound and touch if possible. Map a layout of your proposed trade show display and make drafts of any new handouts, graphics, or other marketing materials.
Prepare a Budget & Project Payoff
Every company has limits on marketing funds, and your new strategy will not make it off the boss’s desk if it cannot be accomplished within the budget constraints with higher results. Find out how much money is available and then determine how to project results. Take all of this data and put it into a business proposal format. Present the new strategy along with the reasons why they changes will improve the visibility and effectiveness of your trade show exhibits. This information, combined with a workable budget, should be all of the persuasion you need!
About the Author: Michael Flavin is a trade show strategist & exhibit consultant at Skyline Exhibits & Graphics Mid-America in St. Louis, MO. He works with companies & organizations to eliminate headaches from their trade show, event marketing & recruiting programs. Overall, he offers total, turn-key solutions, focused on creating memorable experiences, lowering operating expenses and increasing ROI. In addition, Michael consults & trains booth staffers and helps companies measure results from their trade show programs. He also helps exhibit marketers design St. Louis trade show displays