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..