Successful Tradeshows Depend on an Effective Strategy

Love them or hate them, if you are a B2B marketer, tradeshows are vital to your business. In fact, according to a recent survey of B2B marketers, such events are rated by participants as their most effective lead generation tactic.

So why is it that some tradeshow booths are swarming with people while others barely get one or two visitors? The difference is strategy. Like anything else in sales and marketing, without a solid strategy your chances of success are very low. If you want to make sure that your tradeshow is a success, here are some important strategies you need to employ:

1. Have a concrete goal. Before attending any tradeshow, ask yourself why you are there. Do you want to generate buzz? Launch a product? Capture sales leads? Whatever your goal, make sure everything about your tradeshow helps to accomplish that goal.

2. Get the word out. If you wait to spread the word about your booth until the event, you might as well pack up and go home. A multi-media approach including social media, press releases, and even blog posts are great ways to let people know about your tradeshow far ahead of time. You also should personally invite customers and prospects and tell them to come see you at the tradeshow.

3. Location, location, location. Plan early and get a copy of the exhibit hall layout. While you may have to pay more for a premium location and adequate space, it is worth it. Most importantly, don’t wait until the last minute to register for a tradeshow. Doing so practically guarantees a less-than-ideal space.

4. Make people feel welcome. Your tradeshow booth should be open and inviting, one that people can enter and look around without feeling confined. It also is a good idea to set up stations in your space for people to learn about your company’s different products and services. This open layout also increases the chances that people will stop into your booth rather than pass it by.

5. Create a visual impact. At a crowded tradeshow there are only seconds for you to attract passersby to your booth so you don’t want it to look like a giant brochure. To get people to visit your booth you need to make a strong visual impact that identifies your brand. Anything more than that should be handled by the team manning the booth.

6. Don’t scrimp on enthusiasm. Make sure anyone working your tradeshow booth is energetic and excited to be there. Working on laptops or talking on cellphones is a definite no-no, as is sitting down. Tradeshow attendees should never feel like they are interrupting or disturbing you.

No matter how large your tradeshow budget, you can make a splash by employing the tactics listed above. And when you come back to the office with some great leads and new customer relationships, you can be sure that strategy worked.