What marketing materials are necessary for tradeshows?
My medical tech startup is going to a tradeshow later this year - one of the first we'll be attending of its size and caliber.
Other than the basic whitepaper, value proposition, and contact information, what other materials will we need?
I'm specifically asking about materials to give out so that we can generate as many promising leads as possible. However, any relevant tips are also welcome about materials to put on show or methods to keep track of visitors to our booth!
Find a creative consultant that will ask you questions and provide suggestions and samples of potential give aways, materials, etc. I know someone who is very good. She has been a guest speaker at ASI events. Send me a message and I'll be happy to share her contact information.
The most important thing to collect is information. Information about who else is exhibiting at the show and information about who is visiting the show PLUS information about what media are covering the show.
Contact that media (they are normally listed on the show's site or in the exhibitors list) before the show and invite them to your booth. Collect business cards from everyone that does come to your booth. Stage an event to attract people to your booth. A glass of champagne goes a long way in a trade show!
If your audience is the hospital community, I think it is a good idea to get a professionally made video to showcase in your booth on a large enough screen that invites people to watch. It has to show the audience what your product can do for them. You can then have a handout postcard with a QR code and all relevant contact info and a Call to Action statement on the postcard such as "contact us at xxx for a free demo" . Also add a prize draw (in exchange for business cards)
If you have a mailing list, then send out invites to your booth prior to the trade show inviting them to see your video and a draw for a prize. (ipad mini for example). Also use social media with a hastag for the tradeshow before, during and after the show.
Or use other ideas that others here have offered to draw people into and stay on your booth. In other words make your booth stand out from the crowd.
What have you done in regard to the physical booth? I have a large catalog of portable easily assembled trade show booths. I am more than happy to drop a catalog off, I am in Cambridge 3 times a week. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or you're interested in discussing further.
Take a look at your website. Does it accurately reflect your business/value proposition? Trade show attendees frequently will do their homework and research exhibitors/visit their websites in advance of the show. You want to make a good first impression so that your booth won't be passed over.
MEDIA RELATIONS. Journalists attend trade shows. So if you have "COMPELING news/study" to share at the time of the trade show, I'd encourage you to issue a press release and make it available in the show's "press room." You can also make copies and use it as a marketing handout. Additionally, you should also be getting a list of journalists who will be attending the show and so you might try and book "one-on-one" time with them in advance over breakfast or coffee..
SOCIAL MEDIA is key. During the show you may want to tweet about happenings at your booth ... remember to use the conference's #hashtag for best visibility.
SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS: Think about what can serve as a "magnet/draw" to your booth. Perhaps a prominent physician/author can give a brief 5-minute talk on a hot subject that aligns with your medical tech business and sign personal copies of his latest book. Or you have a drawing for a cool prize (winner must be present). Or even a food alert (4 dozen cupcakes from "best bakery in town" have just arrived for the first 48 visitors). And of course ... if you get favorable media coverage during the show, send out a tweet with a URL to the article!
What is the true purpose of attending the show? Awareness. Leads. Networking. You really should do all three of these (and more) before, during and after the show itself.
Hire a videographer and a producer/content manager to tell your company's story of attending the show with compelling video about how exciting the show is and how great your company is for being there.
If you are a tech company, don't waste your time with old school brochures and methods. Make sure your booth staff is professionally-attired and pleasing to the eye. Have at least five people there and keep them busy.
How to keep them busy? Engage attendees by interviewing them and getting their take on the show itself, thus affiliating them with your brand. Then, use all social media channels to "own that show" on search engines and in your email follow up to current and new leads. Be the most visible company (on search and social media) at that show. Embed your sales messaging into those short video clips/interviews.
Your leads will develop over time. It is better to spend the money on people engaging attendees with your brand and creating compelling content that you can share and that they will share. Example: Valerie Smith being interviewed by your company will go viral with all of her Twitter followers. When that happens, you will get better leads because people trust Valerie. Trusted professionals who admire her will see this as an endorsement and the clicks should roll in. Find 100 Valeries during the show to help you build awareness, leads and grow your network. You might even hire a celebrity or two to help elevate your brand at the show.
Trade shows are a very old model, so I would suggest being more creative than everyone else who attends. Good luck. I have more ideas for you if you want them.
You are my very first comment on this site (hope I was not too preachy). All the best to you.
I'd suggest making sure you have an email signup sheet and give out an item of value to the attendee who signs up. That way you can follow up with them afterward. I find that items with logos like pens, pads, etc don't necessarily instill action on the part of the recipient. When I was at the Ad's Clubs Interactive Day San Diego this year I thought that one of the companies had a cute idea where they were asking people to take selfies of themselves and then they were posting them and handing out T-shirts with their logo. There were a lot of people walking around the tradeshow wearing the T-shirts and so they received a lot of exposure with the tradeshow participants that way.
Janene Roberts, Popcorn Press & Media, Inc.
Keep things simple. Depending on your budget a well crafted brochure or CD as a general handout is great. If you choose the CD you should incorporate a short video about the company to go along with the words and charts. By choosing one primary handout you can take advantage of higher volume production discounts. Also bring a small number (50-100) special handouts (Coffee mugs, Cell phone accessories or other meaningful handouts) with the logo and web site for the company on it. This is for people that have scheduled an appointment to see you or signed a contract to do business.
Trade show booths do n ot need to be fancy or brilliant to be effective. It is the quality of the people and information presented that makes the difference.
Good morning, from my years of walking many, a 'snappy' quick read one pager flyer/postcard to exchange with someone if they leave a business card. No sense putting paper out 'just because'; not all people will recycle if they choose not to entertain a document. Do you have a cool power point they can watch easily on their own?
Whichever value you bring to the table that makes your medical tech start-up in a league of its own - Plant that message so eyes see it no matter which direction people walk. Simple & Classic; giveaways have to represent the product/service or they just look pathetic ('my view'). Remain confident & Have Fun!
To generate leads you need them to give you something, not the other way around.
Ideally you don't just get leads you determine right there and then if they are good leads or not (i.e. cold, warm hot)..
In order for this to happen you need some form of interaction to assess their desire/interest level. Add an area on your lead gen form for them to tick boxes to indicate their interest level.
I have also found having some sort of interactive exercise/competition/activity tends to make people loosen up more and talk to you. For example one client had a 'fishing competition' where you fished out prizes with toy fishing lines (there theme was focused on dads having time with their kids), or a sniff test for a cuisine tour group (different herbs and you had to guess which was which). These two examples mathced what the theme was for the company - think about what activity you could have that was fun and intelligent and endorses your products value, then collect the leads..
Glad you asked! Think "pre-show, at-show and post-show." A good mail or email campaign to drive attendees to your booth; a high-impact display (it's your "billboard"); a video to attract passersby and keep people occupied while the booth staff is engaged; quality collateral; a clever, relevant premium (promo) item; a follow-up campaign to all captured leads.
being a bookkeeper, when I go to tradeshows or even convenstions I normally bring my pen / styles with me along with my business card. I know that a friend of mine brings coffee mugs with the name of her business
A large percentage of my clients are pharma marketing agencies. The work I do for them is primarily developing interactive visual aids (IVA) for use on touch screens. The information is usually presentations on the product and important safety information.
My recommendation should you decide to take this approach is to make sure that your IVA can work offline. Most marketing agencies have moved to primarily web based applications and trade shows don't necessarily guarantee internet connectivity. Also, include a contact form in the IVA so attendees can request more information. This way you can generate CRM compatible leads easily at the trade show.
Best of luck to you!
The dynamics of a trade show have changed drastically over the past 5-10 years. The purpose is not to hand out literature at the show to every Tom, Sally, Dick or Harry that comes to your exhibit, but to send it to them after they visit your booth/stand. This way you capture that visitors contact information and begin the nurturing process.
Be ware of the bag people. These are the people carrying bags upon bags of catalogs, brochures, etc. and asking for yours right away. They are never your target audience. They'll never become your customer.
Do you need to have the literature or information ready to send to them before the show? ABSOLUTELY!
Should you have a small amount of information at the ready in the booth? YES! But, don't have it sitting out for people to grab and run off.
So what do you need? Great question, but can't fully answer that because 'tech' has so many meanings. Are you a hardware company, a software company, a value-added reseller, etc?
I would point you to download and read some of the research from TechTarget. Their research identifies numerous data points on the type of information purchasing influencers and decision-makers are looking for and at what points along the buying cycle they are needed.
Since this is your first time to exhibit, are you doing preshow, during show and after show marketing? It's an absolute must. You can rent lists of attendees from previous shows and send them an invitation to your exhibit. You can send out reminders to currently registered attendees to stop by your booth, and you can send follow up emails to all the attendees thanking them for stopping by or sorry we missed you.
Most large trade shows have badges for attendees that you scan to get their contact information. Now you can either rent a scanner or have your booth personnel download the trade show's app to their smartphone or tablet. I would recommend the latter.
You might also look into an app called bump which allows you to transfer contact data between two devices.
Create a form/questionnaire of the type of information you want to gather from visitors. Some of the trade show software allow you build the form in their platform.
Lastly, don't have a bunch of booth personnel standing around in the booth or near it. It will make people walk right on by because they will have the feeling they are entering the lion's den to be eaten.
Back to the literature. This is where having QR codes come in handy. You can set up separate codes for each piece of information and your visitor if they wish can use their phone to scan the code and take them to a landing page where they can get it. It also helps in measuring ROI while capturing leads, especially if you are using marketing automation.
Would hourly drawings for nicer "prizes" get more interest in your booth? It would also get people to your booth for a longer period of time, while you sell?
Not sure if it would work in your industry, just an idea.
Also, have you considered making a looping video to be on display, and banners to draw people over?
I hope the show goes great for you!
Material depends on what your product is all about.... can I get some details what are you selling?
Since it is not a general public product, you are targeting professionals who have the general need for the service you are offering. I don't see much use of providing anything special other than the printed brochures that I presume you have - and since you are in the business you know what to point out in them. From my personal experience when such products are sold/marketed the prospects will be interested by default - because they will see the potential use in their everydays work, and others are actually not of your interest (getting more material out does not mean more prospects - just more freebies and giveaways. What I would focus in your case is technical help on site having the right answers to actual prospects and if there is a possibility try do prepare sessions for interested parties during the event - focus more on direct spoken information than on people passing by. If I was a professional interested in your product I would like to find more about it on site. You could also organize post-fair webinars, and ask people to sign up to get more details. And don't forget to collect business cards :)
Find something that is unique and people will keep. Avoid the frisbees and keychains. Promotional material should reflect your business and what it is as a brand. Flash drives, pens, free app, and px ruler are all ideas you could use. You need to stand out and I understand you need to keep the cost low as possible. What was your idea?