Paying to attend a trade show without a marketing plan is a bit like throwing money into the wind; you really don’t know how much of it may come back to you. With a marketing plan in place you are going to be more organized and have a better chance of turning your investment into sales.
Remember that the key aim of a trade show marketing is to promote your business or product. However, this doesn’t just mean that you show up on the day of the trade show, set up, and start marketing. The key is to market your company during, and after the trade show. Even if your before and after trade show marketing is simply a small advertisement or article in the local newspaper it can help to increase attendance, sales, and recognition.
Begin your plan by analyzing your target market – who are they? What is the best way to reach them; email, fax, direct mail, advertising, etc.? Even just a single contact via email can provide results with very little investment. Make sure that your target market that you reach out to before and after the trade show are the same ones who are attending the trade show; if you need help with this ask the trade show organizers for a statistical list of past attendees.
Make sure that any pre-marketing material you send out includes an incentive for visitors to check out your booth at the trade show. Also take the opportunity to talk about anything new or exciting that may be going on with your business to spark their curiosity.
Finally, press releases should be included in any trade show marketing plan, as they are a fantastic way to notify prospective clients of your upcoming trade show, as well as to report results afterwards. Press releases are reasonably affordable, when done right they can earn your business lots of positive exposure.
Once everything is said and done, take a step back and review your trade show marketing plan to ensure that future trade shows are just as, or more, successful.