Make Your Mark in 2012: Trade Shows
As we draw nearer to the New Year, many businesses are starting to put together their 2012 marketing plans. For many, your marketing mix will probably include participating in or attending at least one trade show in the upcoming year.
Following, we’ve put together a checklist to help ensure you get the best ROI possible from whichever trade show you decide to attend.
- What are your goals? - Don’t just participate in a trade show for the sake of participating. Like any other marketing tactic, it’s important to pinpoint what you’re actually trying to achieve by doing it. Are you looking to increase your company’s brand awareness? Are you trying to drive an action? Are you looking to capture attendee’s information? Knowing what you want to accomplish is a good starting point for planning for your 2012 trade show.
- Who is your target? After you’ve deciphered your goals, it’s important to think about who you’re actually trying to reach. Are you trying to break into a new industry in 2012? If so, who are the gatekeepers in that industry? Who makes the purchasing decisions for the product(s)/service(s) you sell? Once you’ve pinpointed your primary target, research, research, research! Don’t just pick a show because it’s convenient. Find out what shows your target attends and what shows your target exhibits at...this is where you want to be!
- Is it designed well? Remember, you’ll be one of many exhibitors at whatever trade show you end up choosing, and most of these exhibitors are there with the same intentions as you. Point being, it’s important to think through brand strategy and how to stand out from the other booths. Get creative with printed graphics, digital graphics, giveaways, etc., but make sure whatever you do ties back to who your target audience is and what your goals are.
- How do you plan to measure and follow up? - There’s no point of attending a trade show unless you have a plan for measuring success and following up with the leads generated throughout the event. Collect business cards from people you interact with throughout the day, have a giveaway where attendees have to leave their contact information in order to participate, etc. After the event, don’t fall off your leads’ radars. Add them to your database and follow-up!