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6 trade show marketing ideas for first-time exhibitors

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  • Is your company offering a new product line at a trade show in the near future? If the answer is yes, then you and your team are probably working hard to get things ready for the show. But coming up with ideas for your trade show display might be difficult if you are a first-time exhibitor. Going to a huge trade show can be exciting and kind of scary at the same time. That’s why today, we are going to learn several different tips that can help you develop your own amazing product exhibits. If you would like to learn some ideas that will help you market your products, please pay close attention to the information below.

1. Hand out brochures

A great way to get the word out about your trade show appearance is by handing out brochures in person. This very affordable and simple way to market can really attract a lot of potential customers. If you have a sales team, bring them along and let them give you a hand. But make sure to choose your locations wisely. Pick locations that have heavy traffic such as grocery, stores, shopping centres and gas stations. These will give you the most bang for the buck and you can reach more people in these areas.

Always make sure that you ask permission before handing out brochures so that you can keep everything legal. If you don’t have a team of people that can give you a hand, you can always outsource the job.  There are many people who would love to make a few dollars handing out the flyers for you.

To keep your print material safe when distributing, opt for clear view binders. These binders are essential if you want to maintain a professional image, as handing out damaged brochures (or any documents for that matter) isn’t going to create the best of impressions. Using suppliers like Company Folders who allow you to create clear view binders is highly recommended if you want to turn your binder into a promotional product. These clear view binders enable you to place custom inserts onto the covers and spine which you can then print your brand information onto.

2. Send out a newsletter

If you have already secured customers for your products and you have a monthly newsletter that actually gets read, using it to promote your trade show is a good idea. Many of your customers would love to come out and meet the people behind the products they love! Furthermore, your customers will often share this news to others who just might also show up for the show. If you have a new product line you are unveiling, this might be a great opportunity to show prospective customers what you have to offer.

Newsletters are powerful marketing tools that can not only drive your sales but also get more people interested in supporting you at the trade show. Newsletters are easy to put together and it will only take a short time to generate one. You can reach a lot of people with this cheap form of marketing and it’s highly effective.

3. Set up an email campaign

While sending out a newsletter letting people know about your plans to attend a trade show is a good idea, you still need to do more. By starting an email campaign, you will be able to target individual leads. A newsletter can target a large amount of people, but it lacks a personal touch.

To get started on your email campaign, make a list of your current clients who have done business with you in the past. These loyal customers should be the first people you contact with an invitation to the trade show you are attending. After you have got your loyal customers out of the way, you can now invite some potential clients to the show. These emails can be gathered from your website, landing pages or anywhere you are sourcing for leads. Once you have an email list generated, you can then contact each lead with an invite to the event. This email list should always be kept on file so you can use it for future sales pitches.

You may even want to offer them a sneak peek at what you are going to be unveiling at the trade show, which will peak their interests. If you have an interesting product or service that you are unveiling, you just might see an influx of people coming to your booth. But always remember, you will need to put on a good show for them when they arrive.

4. Use the good old-fashioned postal service

While email marketing is a powerful tool, you shouldn’t forget about how useful regular old-fashioned mail can be! A great way to reach people and get them to come to your event is by sending them a colourful flyer. Not only will this help them learn about the trade show, but you can also show them what you have to offer. You can reach hundreds and even thousands of people by using regular mail and you just might be surprised at how many people actually read these flyers and mailers.

On the other hand, you can also use direct mail to reengage current high-end clients, like Johnston & Murphy does.

To sweeten the deal, you might even want to give them coupons for your current goods and services to gain their attention. This will have a twofold effect that can greatly benefit your bottom line. Not only will you see an increase in trade show guests, you just might make a few sales with the coupons you offered.

5. Utilise social media

A month before your trade show, why not be proactive and utilize social media to get the word out?  Social media is one of the best way to inform people about events. As you probably already know, word of mouth on the internet can really go a long way. While you should promote your trade show appearance on your company’s social media pages, you might want to build a page dedicated to the event.  Here you can showcase what you are going to be bringing to the trade show which will generate interest.

You can also get the word out about your show appearance by using paid social media ads which are very effective and affordable. There are many other ways that social media can help you promote events. So, make sure that you do your homework and learn more about how to use it to your advantage.

6. Give them an incentive to come

When you email potential trade show guests, a great way to encourage them to show up is by offering them something for free. This form of incentive marketing is used at trade shows and other events to attract more people.  Your free offer could be something as simple as a free gift card or something as amazing like a trip to the Bahamas.

Having these incentives in place will surely attract more people, which you can turn into potential customers. Everyone likes to get things for free, so why not use this to your advantage?

These amazing tips will help you make your first time at a trade show more successful. By using these easy to follow marketing ideas, you will generate more leads. Remember, the more people you can interact with at the trade show, the better. While trade shows are serious business, make sure that you have some fun while you are there. You may even want to mingle with guests and other booth operators. This will help you get a better idea about the amount and size of your competition. Finding out what your competition is up to is a great way to improve your own sales.

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