How To Drive Targeted Traffic To Your Tradeshow Booth

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Trade show attendance represents a considerable investment for businesses both big and small. Regardless of a company’s market share, any booth manager will tell you that shows can oftentimes mean the difference between a good year and a stellar year, and the reason is pretty obvious. Tradeshows offer the kind of direct access to hundreds or even thousands of prospective clients that you just won’t experience anywhere else. And because most trade shows wrap up after just three days, it means that the window of opportunity to capitalize on that targeted traffic is incredibly short. For this reason, you simply can’t rely solely on bright digital signage to draw in the crowds – in order to get the targeted traffic to your next tradeshow; you’re going to have to target your approach.

Targeted Mobile Advertising

If you’ve decided to set up a booth at a tradeshow, it’s pretty safe to assume that you’re there to sell your company’s products and/or services. But even if you have an eye catching booth and follow proper trade show etiquette, your booth may not be in as good a location as a competitor and as a result, there’s a chance you might lose out on business simply because the customer either didn’t get a chance to view your booth before finding a comparable solution, or they just didn’t have the time to find you by chance. If you aren’t taking advantage of the fact that each person on the floor is walking around with a smartphone, your lead generation may not be as good as it could be. Targeted mobile advertising uses geo-targeting to increase consumer awareness that your brand is attending the convention. The best part of this kind of advertising (unlike other methods) is that it is targeted to the people that have an interest in your company’s solutions. Consider tweaking your ads to build excitement in your product, communicate your location in the vast convention hall, or maybe offer a special promotion to those who come by your booth.

Create a Targeted List of Prospective Clients Before Attending the Show

Sadly, many companies fail to plan ahead. That being said, if you haven’t taken the time to reach out to this targeted list of buyers and/or companies, they might miss your booth completely, and make a deal with someone else (this can be especially devastating if you or your sales team has spent time building a relationship with them leading up to the show). Have a meeting with your sales team and compile a list of contacts of individuals or organizations that have made inquiries into your business over the last year (this time period is arbitrary, it may vary depending upon your industry). Make inquiries with the event’s management to see if pre-registration lists can be obtained or, barring that, see if you can be provided with a list of the previous year’s attendees. When creating pre-show marketing material to send to prospective clients, be sure your message is about solving problems – peak their interest in your solution and give them a solid reason for attending your exhibit.

Tailor Your Direct Mail to Encourage Quality Over Quantity

If the show’s organizers can’t provide you with the kind of details you’re looking for in regards to the list of attendees (details like position of attendee or company size), you’ll have to create some pre-show direct marketing that will help you to ensure the right kind of leads will be stopping by your display. Use specific phrasing like “Attention Sales Manager” to help make sure you’re reaching the right person. After all, it wouldn’t be very good if your material convinced someone without decision-making authority from the company to stop by your booth. If you have the personnel, consider sending out pre-show communication to customers that have previously shown interest in your company at the show, offering to set up an appointment to discuss your products or services. By doing so, you’ll have a good idea of who will be stopping by and when, and tailor your pitch or presentation to meet their needs. In either case, these correspondences should be sent out well in advance so as to ensure it reaches the target before they’ve left for the show.

Other Tactics to Try

  • Create a banner on your website that will direct the customer to a microsite that will provide all the information prospective clients will need. Include things like booth number, the hall it will be located in, and what you will be displaying at the show
  • Advertise in industry specific publications
  • Send vouchers for a free gift for stopping by your booth – this shouldn’t go out to your entire list however, remember to flesh out the potential clients that offer the most promise
  • Send a letter to prospects and include a map of the venue with your booth location highlighted
  • Bring items that will provide additional service to potential clients like a charging station – don’t make these items known to everyone however, you want your prospects to feel as though this is something offered only to a select few.

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