Whilst most of your company’s marketing efforts may be digital, a trade show or exhibition is one of the best ways to get your internet business out there and physically in front of both existing and new customers. Setting up a booth at a trade show is not only a great opportunity to market your products and services, but also allows you to put a face to your online brand and give it that all-important ‘human’ element.
But, with your competitors (literally) next door to you, how can you be sure to generate enough leads to make attending a trade show worth it? Let’s find out.
Discounts and Incentives
Many companies will gather information at a trade show to then contact the customer later and sell them a product or service. But, the problem with this is that people can always change their mind during the period in between. So, go one step further by offering trade show attendees the option to take advantage of a nice discount if they make the purchase there and then. Take a mobile credit card chip reader; this will make things more convenient for your customers. Since it may be impractical to have all your products in the booth with you, use a digital catalog or online ordering system on an interactive tablet.
Louis Hernandez Jr mentions that although most online business owners attend trade shows with the ultimate goal of attracting new customers, don’t forget about your existing, loyal shoppers. Before the event, promote your attendance on social media, your business blog, and other online channels. Not only will this ensure that your existing customers are aware and invited, it will encourage word-of-mouth marketing when people decide to attend and bring a friend or family member along.
Once you get to the trade show, the main goal is to encourage more footfall to your booth. But, it’s difficult to get anybody to wander over if you’re just sitting there staring at your laptop or smartphone. Instead, take a couple of people with you so that they can look after the booth whilst you go out into the crowd and strike up friendly conversations with potential customers.
Offer Something Different
Whilst there are many tried and tested methods and strategies that work well at any trade show, it’s important to ensure that you don’t end up looking just like every other exhibition stand present. Since you’re very near to many of your competitors and other businesses, it’s essential to offer your customers something different that they can’t find elsewhere, for example, some stands do well offering a ‘chill out’ area with free hot drinks and Wi-Fi.
Get to the Point
Lastly, when you’re exhibiting at a trade show don’t forget that attendees don’t often have the time to sit and chat for a while, especially if they have planned events to attend throughout the day or want to explore other booths. Respect this by providing your visitors with clear, concise information that gets straight to the point. You can save the small talk for later.