How much of your exhibition program is focused on the marketing aspect of trade shows? The logistics of getting your stand from A to B (sometimes C to D) takes up a lot of time, but it’s important to still take time to focus on how to market yourself better, and improve your exhibition results.

 

Zone in on your best persona

To better understand your best clients as prospects, create a portrait of them, otherwise known as a persona. A good persona should include age, gender, income, ethnicity, and even emotional aspects such as personality, likes and dislikes, mentality, and key motivators. Now create personas for all of your different prospect types.  This will give you a tangible, living target for your marketing materials. Understand your buyer, and you can better tailor your marketing activities to appeal to them.

 

Write A Creative Brief

This is like a mini-marketing plan for your exhibition which saves you time in the end, as long as you take the time to put to together. Include goals for the show, strengths and weaknesses compared to competitors, how you plan to promote the show and your follow up plan. Once you have written your brief, share it with your exhibition staff and vendors such as your exhibit house or promotions supplier.

 

Select The Right Shows

Don’t choose shows based on the estimated number of attendees or cost per metre, think instead about the number of attendees that fit your target market, or how successful previous shows were. Look at existing shows that are most likely to hold your targeted prospects, and regularly review your event schedule based on marketing performance and potential.

 

Your Exhibit As A Marketing Tool

Your display is so much more than a backdrop. It is a marketing tool designed to communicate a message and support your event staff. Make sure it lives up to its full potential. Does it clearly say what products and services you offer and why they are better? Does it give a compelling reason for people to stop and talk with you? Can the graphics be easily changed to directly appeal to various personas, if you are exhibiting at different shows?

 

Create Promotions Appealing To Your Target Audiences

Promotions will get more people into your booth, but be sure to choose promotions that will excite your best buyers but will not attract non-buyers. Do that will a compelling offer they love, with matching the look and feel of the stand to the buyers personality.

 

Follow Up Leads More Than Just Fast

 

Logistically, follow up means entering leads into your database and sending out material to prospects. Use a marketing perspective to take it to the next level. Make sure the leads are qualified before you send any material out, and don’t send out a generic packet… you get more leads by making sure your marketing collateral is tailored specifically for what each attended asked for.

While it’s great to know how to set up your display in mere minutes and get your paperwork in on time, keep in mind that trade exhibitions can strengthen brand recognition, generate leads and build stronger relationships. Strengthen your marketing objectives, and you will make real headway with your exhibition program.