What if a company showed up to a trade show and nobody came by their booth? The reality is this could be your company if you don't engage in any trade show marketing.
Whether your budget is large or small, there are many creative and easy ways to drive more traffic to your trade show booth.
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Engage in geotargeting
Geo-targeting is one of the best ways to serve up advertising to trade show attendees to stop by your trade show booth. Using a service or an app, your marketing team could target smart phone users who enter into a predefined area, such as the convention center. If those visitors checked their social media such as Facebook or Instagram, they'd be served ads trying to drive people to your company's trade show booth and why. Geo-targeting is a highly successful, but underutilized method for increasing traffic to companies' trade show booth.
Buy the show list
Most shows will offer certain perks to exhibitors such as the ability to buy the show list in advance. This helps greatly for email marketing campaigns to show attendees. Some of these lists are merely names, titles, and companies, so it may take a little heavy lifting to get the email addresses associated with these people. Luckily, there are solutions such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator or a variety of free and paid email hunting apps that serve up email addresses once you enter a name into their system.
Call your customers and invite them to your booth
Ever hear of priming the pump? If you want to increase traffic, it's helpful to generate some traffic based off of ringers- your customers. It's also a great way to nurture your business relationship by offering them advance showings of new products, assuaging their fears about any prior concerns, and an opportunity to get some face time. Customer service or sales should create a calling campaign to customers in tandem with other trade show marketing efforts so a maximum amount of people show up.
Throw a happy hour on the first day of the show
You know what draws people to your trade show booth at 3:00 when they're tired of walking and just want to get out? Drinks. Host a happy hour on the first day, and you'll start a rumbling across the show floor that these people have drinks.
A happy hour is a great way to engage people in low-pressure conversation, fill your trade show booth with potential prospects and to take a load off. On day two, you'll be remembered by the visitors who were at your booth, pouring the libations and engaging them in friendly banter. Advertise this as a part of your email marketing campaign and ask sales or customer service to call clients to invite them to this event.
Start using social media
Start sharing visuals with your brand name and trade show booth number on them and use the show hashtags and industry hashtags. In the months leading up to the trade show, you should be engaging in a lot of this trade show marketing in order to entice people to stop by your trade show booth. Make sure your posts are intriguing, relevant and informative in order to capture your audience's attention.
It doesn't take a budget of hundreds of thousands to fill your trade show booth. Instead, with a little trade show marketing, and you'll be able to increase traffic through your virtual front door.