By Dean Schwartz (SWAG Master): In our increasingly digital world, you may be wondering: are trade shows even still relevant? The answer is a resounding YES! The internet, and social media in particular, have made our world smaller; and, in turn, they’ve helped to create new forms of marketing that require less initial investment than a trade show. However, studies have repeatedly shown that, while we have access to a greater audience through smart devices, people are increasingly seeking real-life experiences and face-to-face interactions.
Research from Hubspot found that 68% of professional’s value face-to-face interactions more than online ones, and nearly 100% of people say face-to-face meetings are essential for long-term business relationships.
The trade show market is huge for one simple reason: they’re effective. Getting a potential client and/or supplier in front of you is typically half of the battle, but a trade show enables you to meet with multiple people through out the day, and research has shown that these in-person meetings have a close rate of 40%. Furthermore, the CEIR (Center for Exhibition Industry Research) projects trade show revenue to grow over the next two years. That’s a whole lot of potential new business! Simply put: exhibiting at these shows is a marketing tactic worth investing in.
If you want to maximize your return on investment, you’ll need to know a few tricks of the trade (pun completely intended). Trade shows can be overwhelming, and it’s definitely easy to get lost in the excitement. Here are 4 trade show tips that will help boost your brand’s exposure.
4 Trade Show Tips to Boost Your Exposure
1. Get a Head Start – With all the hustle and bustle going on at trade shows, grabbing your prospects’ attention is perhaps your biggest challenge. We recommend separating yourself from the crowd before the event even starts by offering “pre-show promises” and getting your clients excited to visit you. For example, an agency mails out one sock to targeted clients and prospects before the show with the promise that they’ll get the matching sock when they come to their booth.
You could also mail out keys prior to the show, with one key unlocking a grand prize at your booth. Promises of giveaways and games are effective means of having your clients seek you out. If you’re having trouble thinking of a unique idea- don’t hesitate to reach out! We love to get creative and will dream up of original ways to gain your prospects’ attention.
2. It’s All About the Booth – Studies show that a first impression has a high correlation with the actual long-term status of a relationship. Did you know that our first opinion of someone forms in only one-tenth of a second? First impressions truly are EVERYTHING!
An attractive booth will not only help draw people in, but it will also help give them a positive experience while they are there. Your booth is microenvironment where you will be attempting to bring prospects along in the sales cycle. You want your booth to be inviting, eye-catching, and tied to your brand or message. See how SOBO has helped clients with their trade show booths in the past.
3. Extend Your Reach – Promotional giveaways, or SWAG, are obviously a great way to extend your brand’s reach beyond your booth. It’s important to get the right SWAG that won’t end up in the nearest trash bin, though. Your promotional products are a reflection of your brand, so make sure it’s high quality or else people won’t want it.
The great thing about quality SWAG at a trade show is that the more people take them, the more they’ll be seen, and, in turn, the interest in your booth will increase. You can also ensure people won’t throw away your SWAG by ascribing some future value to them, like we recently did for our friends at CrewHu (highly encourage you click the link to check it out!). SOBO has seen it all when it comes to SWAG at trade shows, so let us know if you need some help deciding which is best for you.
4. Engage Creatively – Attracting attention at trade shows can be a challenge. There’s so much going on when you walk around at a trade show that, after a while, every booth, table throw, and retractable banner start to look the same. If you really want to stand out, you’ll have to get creative. Games and puzzles are always a great way to grab attention, but so aren’t raffles and engaging demonstrations.
Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to boost your trade show exposure. As always, your friends at SOBO are here to help. Give us a call at 888.752.0432 or email us for help with booth design, SWAG giveaways, or any other trade show needs you may have. And remember: always SWAG with style!