The halfway point of the 2017 trade show season is upon us. Yes, it’s really July. It seems like we were just gearing up for the new year. Now here we are, returning from the holiday weekend preparing to finish this trade show season strong. Are you “raring to go” or ready to run and hide? The half year mark is the perfect time to reevaluate your trade show goals and reassess your trade show strategy. The key is to keep tweaking your plan throughout the year to make the necessary adjustments. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Where is the bulk of my spend going?
- Can I shake up my budget mix to allocate dollars to more impactful areas (e.g. digital brochures instead of printed materials, etc.)
- Is my strategy still relevant based on results from Q1 and Q2 trade shows?
How you answer these questions will help you reset and execute your updated strategy for quick wins. After all, the end of the year will be here before you know it. Below, we outline a comprehensive checklist to ensure you address areas vital to trade show success.
Reevaluate Your Trade Show Goals
Step back, take a look at the trade shows you attended the first half of the year and the goals you set. Determine why you are attending upcoming shows. Are the goals you set at the beginning of the year still relevant for upcoming trade shows? Whether the goal was to generate new business, increase social media engagement, or build website traffic, assess what worked and what can be done differently to make great strides. Having a system for measuring your trade show goals is equally as important. Identify metrics you can review to truly measure the success of a trade show.
Re-tweak Your Tactics
The best way to ensure consistent trade show success is to up the ante every time. And you do that by constantly tweaking tactics to attract booth traffic, effectively communicate key messages, and create a memorable trade show experience. With only a few seconds to draw attendees in your booth, pitch a solution and not a sale. Create a buzz before, during, and post trade show with a creative campaign. Be sure trade show booth staffers are “on” at all times. The quickest way to divert an interested visitor is to greet them with gloom. Flash a smile and remember to pitch with confidence and provide solutions.
Reboot Your Trade Show Booth
Simply updating your trade show exhibit graphics or incorporating digital signage can cost-effectively bring a drab booth to life. Renting furniture or changing the layout of your booth are also viable options. Rally your team for ideas based on upcoming trade shows.
Reenergize Your Booth Staff
Trade show staffers play a pivotal role in the overall success of a trade show. These are your company’s brand ambassadors and they must be enthusiastic, experienced, and well-trained. Provide incentives and arm staffers with information and innovative tools to interact with visitors.
Reintroduce Staff Training
Every trade show presents an opportunity for training. Train staffers on new products, the brand message, potential problems, and last but not least — booth etiquette.
Reshuffle Your Budget Mix
Review your spend for upcoming trade shows. Reshuffle your budget to invest more in creating a highly engaging experience. If on-site engagement tanked at one show, consider investing in interactives like virtual reality for an immersive experience v.s. inundating visitors with “dead giveaways”. Trash can bound tchotchkes can impact your budget in a major way.
Refresh Your Marketing Collateral
Give your marketing collateral a new design and provide to qualified leads only. Be sure to create interesting collateral that will have trade show visitors referring back to your information well after the trade show.
Recall Your Wins and Replay
Implement what worked at past trade shows. Consider ways to improve on your wins and also add elements like social media to boost your buzz.
Download your Midyear Trade Show Checklist here. Contact us to learn more about how Southeast Exhibits can help you put these checklist gems into action.