Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tradeshow marketing - The Original Direct Marketing is still effective! Part 1

Trade Show Dos and Don'ts
Principal Brand Mechanic – The Ecommerce Gateway (pvt) Ltd.

Planning to exhibit at a trade show soon? Many businesses find that trade shows can be one of their best sources of new business. But exhibiting at trade shows doesn't come cheap. The cost of booth space, drayage, product literature, airfare, shipping and hotel costs, and meals can take a significant toll on a small business' bottom line if they don't get the hoped for sales from the show. No single thing you do can guarantee you will have a profitable show. however, there are a number of things you can do to increase ROI.

1. Check Out The Show History Is it a show that regularly attracts large crowds? Will the show be held in a place that's easy for attendees to find and reach by car and by public transportation? Will the show be adequately promoted to your potential customers? Have vendors who have participated in the show in the past done well? What has past attendance been?

2. Prepare A Professional-Looking Display You don't have to have the biggest, flashiest booth on the trade show floor to attract attendees. But you do need to have some type of display that lets passersby know what it is you are selling. Signs, photographs of products or other elements used in the display should look professionally prepared. Unless you're working a crowd that's attracted by the possibilities of bargain basement prices, vinyl banners propped up against a backdrop will make you look unprofessional and make prospects question the commitment to the success of your product.

3. Have Sufficient Literature Ready To Hand Out Have professionally prepared brochures made to distribute at the show, and have them prepared well in advance of the show. If you wait until the last minute to prepare you'll wind up paying unnecessary rush charges.

4. Make Sure You HAVE a Product If your product doesn't work, or doesn't work properly, or not ready to go to market, you'll lose more customers than you'll ever gain.

5. Do Pre-Show Promotion Experienced trade show exhibitors don't wait for the show to start to try to see customers and make new contacts. This could be done differently based on the show or audience but may include:
• Dimensional Mail campaign
• Pre-event email
• Include announcements in invoices prior to the event
• Personal invitations by phone or mail to your most important clients

The Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (pvt) Ltd. can help you target the most important prospects, design an environment that will draw them in and a plan to be sure they don’t get away. We work as your partner to execute your brand in the tradeshow space effectively, efficiently and with an interest in increasing your tradeshow ROI.


Tradeshow Marketing - The Original Direct Marketing Part 2

Trade Show Dos and Don'ts Part 2
Principal Brand Mechanic – The Ecommerce Gateway (pvt) Ltd.

Here are a few more items to consider:

6. Have A Giveaway Or Traffic Builder Your goal is to attract people who would be interested in your product to your booth. This can be integrated with the pre-show dimensional campaign, sponsorship of the events lanyards, bags or other materials or a Brand-relevant Promotional Product that really spreads the buzz about your company. The giveaway or traffic builder doesn't have to be big or elaborate. Samples of your product given away at intervals during the show are ideal. Having a chair massage available at the booth, a contest for an iphone, subscription to Netflix or a Plasma screen give away… Use your imagination if there aren't sufficient funds for expensive giveaways.

7. Take Notes You will have conversations with dozens of people during a trade show. Many of them will give you their name or a business card. In the past exhibitors jotted notes on the back of cards. Get a digital voice recorder and quickly record the name, company and topics of discussion of key contacts while they are walking away so you never look like you are busy working when you should be busy WORKING the show!

8. Train Booth Personnel Choose your booth staff carefully and be sure they know how to deal with the public. Among the faux pas to avoid (all seen at recent trade shows), are booth personnel who:

• Pick their nose while talking to prospects
• Look unkempt and/or unwashed

• Bad-mouth competitors

• Talk to each other or talking on a cell phone – No cell phones or laptops allowed PERIOD!

• Delight in garlic-laden lunches (or breakfasts)

• Sit at the back of the booth and wait to be approached
Your booth staff should be dressed well, preferably in branded apparel or something that is relevant to your business.

9. Play to the Crowd Plan demos so more than one prospect at a time can view them. If booth personnel are tied up giving a demo to one or two people, and that demo can't be seen by other passersby, you limit the numbers of potential leads and customers you will attract. If at all possible, use movie screens or projection screens, or large screen computers and have demos done with the demonstrator facing the any audience or the aisle of the trade show. Touch screen kiosks, looping presentations or videos and a properly designed environment can help to guide visitors through the area towards you.

10. Follow up! Have a plan in place for following up on leads as soon as you get home from the show. Don't wait a month or two to get around to sending information to those who stopped by your booth. By then, the hot prospects are likely to have become good customers for one of your competitors. Over 79% of leads never get followed up on. Plan ahead using your voice recorder or use a target prospect list prior to the show. If the booth staff is too busy to follow-up – get someone back at the home office to quickly follow up – within 5 days of the show or before the next weekend.

The Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan's #1 Event Management Company (www.ecgateway.net) can help you target the most important prospects, design an environment that will draw them in and a plan to be sure they don’t get away. We work as your partner to execute your brand in the tradeshow space effectively, efficiently and with an interest in increasing your tradeshow ROI.

Thanks to Jason Mallin for nice article.

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