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Got trade show troubles? Seven surefire ways to maximize your investment.

by Nomadic Display 16. September 2010 01:48
Getting the most out of your trade show marketing efforts necessitates making smart decisions from the get-go. In fact, maximizing your ROI entails a combination of planning for cost efficiencies, promoting your presence effectively and following through with contacts you've made. The following seven tips will help to do just that.

Setting goals.

Keep your aims straightforward, measurable and realistic to achieve. Are you seeking to connect with new prospects, existing clients or potential partners? If you want to improve brand awareness, how will you measure it? You may need a follow-up survey to see how many attendees remember your exhibit.

Promoting event.
Attendees often plan their visit to a sow in advance. Your pre-show marketing should focus on giving visitors a good reason to put your company on their must-see list. You'll get more mileage from an integrated marketing plan that includes pre-, at- and post-show elements. Purchase the pre-registered attendee list for promotion, add conference information to your website, offer VIP passes to clients and insert reminders in invoices. Product/stage/theater demonstrations are among the highest-ranking factors for influencing attendee memorability. And don't forget the press release; new products make great news stories.

Planning ahead.
With some advance legwork, it's possible to reduce the cost of on-site services. Ship ground rather than air to the advance warehouse rather than direct to show site for a bigger discount on drayage. Place your service orders early to receive early-bird discounts off standard show rates. And try to schedule your set-up labor for hours that will be billed at straight time.

Lightening up.
When selecting a display property, think lightweight to save on shipping and drayage costs. Hybrid displays that fuse lightweight components such as pop-ups, laminated panels, extrusions, tension fabric and graphics deliver dynamic presentations at a fraction of the weight of traditional custom-built exhibits. Consolidate shipments to optimize dimensional weight. Lastly, send literature to prospects post-event.

Attracting visitors.

Within three seconds, visitors decide whether or not they will stop at your booth. Design a display that clearly and immediately communicates what your company has to offer and what it can do for the customer. A general rule is to ensure that at least 60% of the floor space and at least 60% of the frontage is open. Fill the height limit at the center of your space to maximize your presence. Keep key messaging above the four-foot height on the backwall.

Training staff.
Even seasoned staffers should know the show objectives, key messaging points and lead system protocol for the show. Visitors should be greeted by an enthusiastic rep who can leverage the exhibit.

Following up.
Research indicates that 90% of business gained from leads comes from post-show follow-up, yet 70% to 80% of leads are not pursued. Ask your sale steam what key data they need captured from prospects as they  will be motivated to follow-up on pre-qualified opportunities. Establish accountability for lead handling prior to the show. Appoint an individual to be responsible for capturing and processing leads. Consider categorizing or ranking them. Disperse leads quickly and make contact within one week.

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Trade Show Tips