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Get Better Trade Show Results By Leaving Your Brochures At Home

Do not bring brochures to trade showsCompanies spend significant manpower and budget producing hard copy materials they bring to trade shows, hoping that everyone who picks up a flyer or brochure will read it carefully. The reality is that most attendees that receive materials on-site will end up tossing them. This is an unfortunate result and a wasteful practice.

Make Your Collateral Work Harder

So how do you ensure your marketing materials are actually read?  In most cases, it’s wiser to send materials after the crowds have dispersed.  It’s natural to want to give everything you have to anyone who visits your trade show display, but you’ll get better results by placing a well-timed email after your prospect has had time to catch their breath, delete unwanted messages and shift back into gear.  Why?


People are more likely to read the literature when they’re at their desk

These days, snail mail stands out. At their desks, people have more time to review it in a leisurely fashion.   Most people attending trade shows are rushing around the whole weekend trying to see as many people as possible and they just don’t have time to read through everything.

Get Into The Right Hands

It’s more likely your literature will find its way into the appropriate hands if you mail or email it.   If you send it via email or mail, recipients will most likely forward it on to others who might be interested or who are in charge of procuring the products or services you offer.   They’re also more likely to open a file based on your literature for future reference.

Don’t Let Your Trade Show Message Get Lost In The Crowd

Your literature won’t get lost in the shuffle.  At trade shows, visitors have tons of literature shoved into their hands by dozens of companies.   Do you really want to be just one more flyer or brochure in a stack that’s overwhelming?  Mailing or emailing materials a week after the trade show means you’ll stand out.   Your material won’t be just one brochure among many.  Waiting a week also sets your material apart and readers will have more time to review your materials and digest the information.

Repetition Improves Recall

Scientific studies have proven that repetition improves recall. Potential customers who visit your trade show booth may or may not remember your company name after the event is over, but the chances they will recall who you are and what you have to offer increases dramatically if they visit your booth one week and receive company literature the next week.  Jogging their memory with a short, personal note included with your literature will also make readers feel appreciated.   Everyone likes to be remembered.

When Less Is More

Your trade show area will look cleaner, neater, and more professional if you don’t have stacks of material lying all over the place. Having the right literature is great, but if you have stacks of paper sliding over or a messy array of literature, it can confuse visitors or simply turn them off.  In many cases, a “less is more” approach is best.

Valid Contact Information

This is the best reason of all: Mailing your literature gives you the ideal opportunity to get valid contact information from everyone who visits your booth.   Simply ask for each person’s name, address, and email so that you can send them your literature and any additional information they request.   You’ll get far more leads if you have something to offer after the trade show is over.

Mailing or emailing your company literature a week after the convention or show is over can become one of the best marketing decisions you’ll make this year.  Avoid collateral damage — and leave your brochures at home.

About the Author

Judy Fairbanks was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Skyline New York.

4 responses to “Get Better Trade Show Results By Leaving Your Brochures At Home

    1. Denise,

      You can ask for the attendees’ email address when you promise to follow up with them after the show, telling them that you will send them a pdf of the product brochure about the product they liked, or that you will email to set up an appointment time after they return to their office.

  1. Now the big question is how do you sell this idea to the “top dogs” of your company? Besides how much we could potentially save, is it best to come with my game plan and see if that sells? Or are there some best practices to making this change? Thanks Judy!!!

  2. There is another benefit to sending electronic information.  If you send it to the attendee while they are at the show, the information can be forwarded to their stakeholders.  This often brings the attendee back to the booth for follow up questions – max efficiency. The information can also be forwarded to staff for review and discussion at the next staff meeting.  Plus, depending on what process you use it can provide a viral tool and it is assured that the information will be current in 6 weeks or 6 months or 18 months if you are sending them to customer facing web url’s. What we advise our clients is to take the savings and invest it in FedEx your brochure  to top potential attendees.  An executive would prefer to take a high quality brochure into a senior staff meeting rather than a web print out.  Judy hope all is well, Steve

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