Ready for more trade show leads? “Think outside the box.” A quote that defines the need when you are thinking of interesting ways to get more leads at a trade show.
When you think about it for a minute – the trade show is the oldest marketing method used by man, a place used for thousands of years to meet other sellers, buyers and hob knob with the best of them. Yes, I am talking about ancient outdoor marketplaces of the Greeks, the Romans, and even our Native Americans. At its most basic level, a trade show is still very much like an ancient open-air market where vendors used to go to sell their wares and consumers went to socialize, learn of interesting news, and ultimately buy what they needed. It is the social aspect of the trade show environment that makes it the perfect place to network, talk to potential customers and generate plenty of leads.
A Place to Generate Leads
Today the modern-day trade show is a perfect venue for business owners to merge both their online and offline marketing efforts and generate those all-important leads. Why? Because a trade show offers two essential elements in the sales process.
- Face-to-face meeting opportunities
- A way of building potential ongoing relationships with potential customers.
So how do you make the most of your next trade show and attract additional trade show leads?
Take note of these 10 ways to get better leads at your next tradeshow. Take them into account and implement them to maximize your benefits.
Creating a strategy is vital as it helps you identify the trade show that meets your needs and your budget. Take the time to research and choose the right option. This is vital as taking on a trade show is not an inexpensive exercise. The costs involved will vary but you can generally expect to pay for the following aspects of any trade show you choose:
- Exhibitor Fees
- Display Booths
- Swags to give to qualified trade show leads
- Employee time
This is why you need to prioritize and find the best option to get a good return on your investment. It is this initial strategic foundation will give you the correct environment to achieve the right sales leads.
Where Do You Find The Information?
Check with your local Better Business Bureau, look online, contact trade associations and other business people. These are the organizations and people who can recommend the best trade shows for your type of business. Yes, at some point, you will need to consider cost, but refrain from making your trade show choice based on the price. Often, a small business can receive more benefits (more leads) by making a slightly higher investment. Just be sure to read the fine print on all the options, making sure that the trade show you are considering lists and meets your requirements when it comes to these four factors.
- Targets a certain segment of the population (your customers).
- Carries the types of products consumers want (making sure these are in keeping with your product and services).
- Lists the past attendance (trade shows with a large following are best).
- The number of years the trade show has been active (a more established trade show offers more attendees).
Most trade shows offer information on location, size, and also on traffic in their promotional materials or on their websites. Do some initial research to make sure you get a targeted audience before you consider any given trade show option. A key factor in getting the best return for your money is to do the research. Preparation is one of the best ways to get more leads at a trade show.
2. Set Your Goals
Once you’ve chosen a location, set your business goals and map out your lead generation plan before you head out to the show. Contemplate your answers to these questions. Detail out your answers and use them to guide you through your prep process so you will get more trade show leads.
- How will you define your success?
- With increased sales?
- By increased sales lead?
- Through product or service feedback?
When businesses get a booth at a trade show, the primary goal is to increase awareness about products or services and show how their products or services help improve people’s lives and improve business success. So look for trade shows with attendees who are looking to create better business development ideas, such as agency owners, managers, sales professionals and business developers.
3. It’s All About Location, Location, Location
Someone once told me that one of the best ways to get more leads at a trade show was to really pay attention to the space you choose (even if it is slightly more expensive). One of the most successful locations for me has been near the food and beverage areas because these areas receive a lot of traffic. But other participants find corners or aisles near the exit or entrance to be great locations. Once you find your preference, reserve your location as early as possible. Experienced exhibitors book their space for the next year as soon as the current year’s show is in progress or just finished. Act fast so the great spots are not all taken. A better spot will get you exponentially more trade show leads.
4. Apply the KISS Principle
Now it’s time to address your trade show booth design as this is another important element when you want to implement the best ways to get more leads at a trade show. The best advice we can give here is to stay away from trendy and flashy. You need a design that fits your brand and the message you want to transmit. This is a vital way to get more leads at a trade show. But this does not necessarily mean you need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on your booth. Sometimes you can get that sharp and professional look with a simple, well-designed banner and some good promotional material (brochures, flyers, postcards and business cards.) And often these materials have a much smaller cost.
Keep your messaging simple and straightforward. You want it to look well-designed but also be easy to read. Don’t clutter up the banner or the booth design with too many sales phrases, images or logos. Make sure your brand is easily identifiable from all directions. Traffic should get an idea of who you are and what you do.
5. Create Awareness
When you decide to attend a trade show make sure your website, social media platforms are geared toward your future participants. Your personal audience needs to be aware of where the event will be. Attract audiences to the event by creating an inbound marketing campaign and use pull marketing methods such as content marketing, SEO, email marketing and social media to reach out to consumers who are interested in your product or existing customers.
6. Offer Value
When you give attendees something of interest and value you build their trust. You can do this by offering valuable information such as an interview with an expert, a radio expo, brochures, pamphlets, t-shirts, pens and other giveaways. These gifts offer insight and demonstrate your value to your industry.
7. Greeters As One of Your Ways to Get More Leads at A Trade Show
This is especially true of large shows where it is easy to get lost in the crowd. Space and a cool booth are not enough to engage with a crowd and you don’t want to sit and wait for people to engage with you. If you do that, you’ll be sitting for most of the time. To prevent this from happening, hire both a greeter and a consultant.
Trade Show Leads: Easy ways to generate more and increase your ROI!
The GreeterThe role of the greeter is to approach people going by, a courteous, polite and quick greeting, followed by questions that can open up the conversation.
The person who has this role is capable of answering all questions with regards to the product or service. This way the greeter can turn the prospect over to the consultant when he has questions about the product.
8. Networking Is Crucial
One of the best ways to get more leads at a trade show is to network. No matter how fancy your booth is or how cool your giveaways are, the booths that produce the most leads are those with a dynamic, open and friendly staff. Your staff represents your brand so choose people that best represent it. You need personable, assertive people who are professional and friendly in the way they approach to trade show attendees.
9. Visit The Other Booths
One of the most pleasant things to do and an activity that helps maximize the return you get from trade show participation is networking with other business owners. Visit other booths and introduce yourself so as to other people. The effort could result in more clients, partners, and so as associations. Step out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself to restaurants or when you go get a cup of coffee as well. This activity can also give you booth design ideas, setup methods and help you identify how their staff is engaging with attendees.
10. Ask to Speak or Hold a Workshop
According to Quick Sprout, one of the best ways to maximize the benefits of a trade show is to get a speaking opportunity. This is almost a guaranteed way to gain more trade show leads. Most trade shows need good speakers or workshop hosts. And if given this opportunity, you can introduce your audience to your product and booth more effectively. A speaking engagement widens your reach.
What Happens Next?
Once the show ends and you have reached out to your new trade show leads, be sure to review your initial goals and your expenditures. This will help you better determine whether implementing these ways to get more leads at a trade show really worked for you or not. Determine the number of quality leads you got and also compare it to your expenditures. When you track your success, you can determine which trade shows are more successful than others, and decide which are worth attending again.
Want more ways to get more leads at a trade show? Watch this video.