Face-to-face marketing is an essential aspect of every business, even if you do most of your trading online. Trade shows are a great way to network with potential clients and build relationships in person. Putting a face to the name will help you develop a more reliable connection and increase loyalty with customers.
There are many ways your business can benefit from taking part in a conference or trade show. That said, without some forethought, they could also be a bust. By correctly implementing digital marketing strategies before and after the fact, you can hugely boost your success.
Firstly, you’ll need to consider what materials, media, and items you need to set up a fantastic display. You’ll want a 10×10 trade show booth that features your brand and is eye-catching. Use the space wisely and include your brand philosophy and bold imagery to draw people in.
You’ll also need business cards, any media you want to present (such as slideshows, videos), promotional items or merchandise, and extensions cables. It never hurts to offer refreshments or treats as well to entice people over.
Use your website for marketing the tradeshow and to let your customers and site visitors know you’re going to be there. Use a banner on your homepage to announce your involvement and have it link to either the event itself or more information. If you have an area on your website where you list upcoming events or appearances, make sure to include it there as well.
It’s also a good idea to include the following details:
Social media is the most effective place for you to engage with your consumers and keep them up to date on your business. Ensure you use all your active platforms to promote the trade show, especially in the weeks coming up to the event.
Also, don’t be afraid to post multiple times about the event. You can encourage locals to pop by and see you by offering an incentive, such as a discount or complimentary entry into a giveaway. Make sure to include the same relevant information as above and link to the events page where they can get more details or passes.
If you collect subscribers on your website or have a data bank of contacts, send out a newsletter. Let your network know about your involvement in the show or conference. Explain a bit about what they can expect and gain from attending. Likely those loyal customers in your network would love to meet you face to face and support your business.
On the day of the show, be sure to encourage digital participation from all those that stop by. Let people know where they can find you online and give them a business card with your social channels. If you’re chatting with other business owners, you can swap likes and shares. If you like and share their business, they will do the same for you.
Related Guide: 9 Ways to Increase Social Media Engagement
It’s likely that many of the businesses at the show will be related to your niche in some way. That means their clients may also be interested in what you have to offer.
It’s also a great opportunity to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter so they can stay up to date on everything to do with your business. Collecting these subscriptions will allow you to reach out to these warm leads and continue building a relationship with them post-show.
By being warm and friendly, attendees will see this, not as a sales pitch, but as a genuine offer to connect and grow your relationship.
Related Research: The State of Customer Engagement, 2020
No one can say no to a contest or giveaway. Giveaways are one of the most effective ways to get people to visit your booth. On top of that, it’s the best way to stock up on email addresses to use in your future digital marketing campaigns. Have them fill out an opt-in form, which states that they consent to receive marketing materials. That way, you’re covered and can add them to your database legally.
Using these digital marketing tactics will hugely impact the success of your trade show or conference appearance. Conferences and shows can be time-consuming, and you’ll spend a lot of time talking to people. With a bit of preparation, you can ensure that your time spent there is worth it, and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of growing your network and attracting new clients.