How to Maximize Trade Show ROI

December 22nd, 2014 by Interex Exhibits


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Trade show marketing is an investment, and of course, you want to get as much return from that investment as possible. The meaning of the word “return” will vary from company to company depending on specific objectives—leads, sales, media coverage, general brand awareness, etc. But no matter what your goals are, these four general tips will help maximize trade show ROI.

Choose the Right Trade Show

First thing’s first—start with a targeted approach to your trade show selection. Remember that bigger isn’t always better. You want to attend shows that cater to a specific market and whose attendees will be the same people you’re looking to reach. Research attendees in advance to determine if the show’s audience will match your intended audience. Once you’ve chosen the right show, make sure to choose the right booth space as well—you want a space with good visibility to maximize traffic flow.

Keep Costs Low

Of course if you want to end up with more, a logical starting point is to spend less initially. Keep your exhibiting costs low by planning everything in advance—from travel and accommodations to shipping and design. This way you’ll avoid rush fees later on. Consider exhibiting with a partner if it makes sense. Sharing booth space with another company can significantly reduce your costs, especially if you’re just starting out. As much as possible, go digital with your content presentation. Not only is paper going the way of the dinosaur, but it’s expensive to constantly print and re-print flyers, brochures and other content. Finally, work with an exhibit house—experienced professionals will help you cut costs from start to finish.

Be Proactive

Another way to get the most out of your trade show experience is to be proactive. Don’t wait for people to come to you. Promote your presence in advance via your company website, targeted email invitations and social media. Prepare a press release to let people know about your attendance as well as any new product or service launches. Include specifics about where exactly you’ll be located on the show floor and what visitors can expect. Set up meetings in advance with members of the media to help garner more attention. And it’s not just the press—if you know current or prospective clients that will be in attendance, set up times to meet onsite.

Follow Up Right Away

One of the major reasons to attend trade shows is to secure leads. Don’t waste all that time and effort by failing to follow up with those leads effectively. Have a follow-up plan well in advance of the actual show. Prioritize your leads. For example, anyone who specifically requests follow up should get it right away, and from a member of the sales team. For others, you can use a scripted follow-up email, but make sure to tailor it to the show you attended and include a call to action (e.g. request a demo or read our white paper). And don’t stop there—have a plan for continued communication.

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