How to maximise your trade show ROI 👆
No matter the size of your business, exhibiting at trade shows can be a significant investment yet one with huge potential for your growth. When committing to a trade show, it’s important to consider the below points on how to maximise your return on investment.
Get the right stand builders
Every business has a different budget, and a quality stand building company will look to maximise the potential of that budget.
Here at Graphic Mill, we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to provide an unparalleled level of quality no matter how much you have to spend, or how challenging your requirements are.
A well designed stand should do a lot of the hard graft for you, making it easy to sell and promote your product or service on both a practical level, as well as an aesthetic one.
Pre trade show marketing
In the lead up to a show, you have the opportunity to create some buzz around the event and your presence there. Many of your current or future clients might already be planning to attend, so reach out and let them know your stand number.
Encourage them to book in a time slot to meet one of your sales reps, meaning you create leads before the show even begins.
If you’re offering a promotion specific to that show, now is also the time to start shouting about it. Giving people a reason to visit your stand ahead of time will only increase your traffic on the day!
Set measurable goals
Like with any investment, you want a means of measuring its success, and therefore its viability in the future.
General goals might include the growth of your mailing list, traffic to your website, social media followers, or simply overall profits in the months following on from the event. More specific goals could include the traction a certain product or service, which you push at a trade show, receives afterwards.
If the numbers don’t meet expectations, it doesn’t necessarily mean that exhibiting isn’t right for your business. It could simply mean that the ways in which you went about it needs reviewing. This is where honest feedback from your sales team, customers, and even your stand builders can be invaluable.
How are you going to draw a crowd?
In addition to the allure of your stand, it’s commonplace to think outside the box when it comes to engaging potential customers. Free giveaways from food and drink, to branded products such as water bottles and notebooks give you a conversation starter. The beauty of branded merchandise is that if nothing else, a customer walks away with a branded product which keeps your name relevant in their minds.
It can also be fun to introduce an interactive element to your stand. This can take the shape of many different games from which customers can compete for high scores or win prizes. Arcade machines, dance mats, sport simulators, spin-the-wheel and basketball hoops, are all examples of such eye-catching inclusions.
Think about how this freebie or interactive elements links to your brand – giving away donuts at a cosmetic show will likely only dilute your brand message, whilst arcade machines on a stand promoting an outdoor lifestyle, may only confuse the customer.
Also, don’t scrimp on your marketing material. If you’re spending good money to be at the show, investing in a high level stand, and have put time into staff training, it’s important to print brochures, leaflet and other hand-outs which are going to tie into the same feel of quality you’re trying to portray.
Follow up leads and gather feedback
In the days following your show, it’s important to follow up any created leads and contacts made during the event whilst their interaction with your brand is still fresh in their minds. Often these are quality leads as they are customers you’ve had the rare opportunity to meet face-to-face, allowing them to demo your service or product and strike up meaningful relationships. With this in mind, show them how much they’re valued by not leaving it weeks before reaching out. Check out our advice on increasing your lead generation at trade shows.
As mentioned before, gathering as much feedback as possible is critical for truly understanding the success of your show and what discussions need to be had for future improvements to your ROI. Straight after the show is a great time to orchestrate this. Feedback should come from a range of sources, from the sales team to the end consumer. Don’t forget to debrief your stand builders. It might be that they also have recommendations on how to further maximise the potential of your stand.