October 6, 2016 — There’s no doubt that a major trade show or exhibition appearance is one of the most expensive forms of marketing you can engage in, aside from a major TV ad buy. When it comes to ROI from your trade show display, it’s all about the leads and the sales conversions they inspire. The more leads you can gather, the more likely it is you’ll see a profit on your trade show appearance.

Today, Best Displays & Graphics has got a no-nonsense list of some of the best ways of boosting your lead generation during a show.

Ten Tips for Improving Your Lead Generation Throughout a Trade Show Cycle

Before The Show

  1. Promote your presence.GB Toronto_462

Make plenty of public announcements about your trade show appearance, through whatever outlets you have available. At the least, make sure to announce it a couple times via your mailing list and the social media outlets you use. 

  1. Add incentives.

Don’t keep your contests, giveaways, product demos, etc., a surprise.  Be sure to mention them during your pre-show awareness campaign, to give leads more reason to visit. You might hold back a couple surprises to keep things interesting, but give plenty of reason to attend ahead of time.

  1. Offer RSVP’ing.

Regardless of how much traffic you actually expect, make the pre-show materials sound exclusive and give leads a chance to reserve a spot to meet with you. Even if only a few take you up on this, they’ll probably be some of your most-qualified leads.

During The Show

  1. Utilize the show’s promotional materials.Powered by Search at SES Toronto 2013

Whether it’s a prominent spot on their brochures, mention in the official show app, or whatever else, it’s almost always worth paying a little extra for prominent mention in the show materials. And the larger the show, the more important this is. If there are hundreds of booths, it’s easy to slip through the cracks without extra promotion.

  1. Have electronic signup options.

Don’t rely on taking people’s information by hand or collecting business cards. Make it easy for visitors to connect with you via social media, or at least to sign up for your email list. Consider having tablets or a small laptop dedicated to this purpose. Likewise, if you’re going to offer your own electronic services, such as Wi-Fi access, be sure that you’re gathering contact info whenever anyone uses them.

  1. Gather as much intel as possible.

It’s a mistake to assume you or your trade show staff will be able to remember any particular visitor after they leave the booth – especially if they’re busy. If it’s at all possible, take a moment after a particularly good lead has visited to jot down all salient information about them you can remember. Whether it’s their primary reason for visiting, or just their favorite sports team, you’ll have a much better chance snagging them later if you can personalize your messaging.

  1. Have interesting and\or useful swag.

If you’re going to have freebie promotional items, don’t just have the standard pens and calculators. Those go straight into a bottom drawer -or the circular filing cabinet- the instant the visitor is back in the office. Your promo swag should either be items you believe will be genuinely useful to your target audience after the show, or else so interesting\novel they’ll want to play with them later.  

After The Show

  1. Act fast!

If there’s one single mistake we see too many trade show exhibitors make, it’s waiting too long to contact a lead after the show. Ideally, every lead should be contacted no more than 48 hours after their visit. Every minute that passes is another minute that your display will slip from their minds, or blend in with the overall show experience.

  1. Personalize your messaging.

As noted above, don’t just send out carbon-copy form letters to your leads, and that’s especially true if they’re Millennials. (Millennials hate form letters.)  The more personalized information you can include based on your chat with them, the better. Be sure to directly address any particular concerns or interests they expressed.

  1. Broadcast on social media.

Both during and after the show, keep up a steady flow of materials online about your appearance. During the show, this could inspire more visitors, and afterwards it helps summarize the show for those who couldn’t make it – and potentially inspires a few more inquiries after the fact. Consider also making promo materials like videos available for download through your website as well.

Best Displays & Graphics

Best Displays & Graphics provides a wide range of trade show services and solutions including trade show displays and banners, graphic design, furniture rental, and much more. Make sure your next trade show is your best by contacting our expert team today!