It isn’t easy competing with a trade show exhibit at an industry event. There are plenty of lights, graphics, giveaways and other distractions that can keep attendees from visiting your trade show display. So how do you compete with the bells and whistles of your competitors to get the attention of solid leads? Here are some suggestions that can help you maximize foot traffic to your booth so that you have a successful experience.
1. Do the Up-Front Work
Contact registered guests before you ever arrive on the trade show floor. Send them a simple postcard or email asking them to register in advance on your website, and then send them a friendly email a few days before the event. Let them know you’re looking forward to meeting them and perhaps give them some advice about getting the most out of the event. This is a chance to get them excited to stop by your booth. Mention any contests or promotions you’ll be doing in your booth and invite them to participate. Close with another invitation to stop by and meet you personally.
2. Woo Current Clients with Incentives
Most companies assume that their current clients will stop by their trade show exhibit as a courtesy. It’s nice if this happens, but their time is just as limited as yours is, so make sure they have a reason to visit your booth instead of someone else’s. Make sure you offer a giveaway or something that is of value to them, as they will likely get plenty of mugs, pens and other gimmicks that will get thrown away or lost after the event. Offer them something of value that is a win-win for each of you like a discount products or services, just for stopping by your booth. This will reinforce your current relationship and make the current client feel valued and excited to continue business with you.
3. Start Marketing and Promoting Before the Event
If nobody knows you’re going to be at the next trade show, nobody will take the time to visit it. Marking before the event can make the event a true success. Send out promotional communications or advertise on the event’s website. It would also be good to keep your website and social media pages up to date with information and posts that tell what you’ll be doing at the event. Start building anticipation with hints about new products or services you’ll be unveiling at your exhibit. Write blog posts that will entice guests. The more that potential leads see your name before the event, the more likely it is that they’ll look for your exhibit once they arrive.
4. Give Incentives to Your Staff
Successful staffing can make or break the success of your trade show exhibiting. Offer your booth staff incentives, just as you would offer incentives to potential leads. Your employees will be more energetic and driven if they know the work they’re doing will be rewarded and appreciated. Make a friendly competition for your staffers by challenging them to gather the most leads or schedule the most follow-ups. A gift card for a favorite restaurant or the promise of a few days off with pay can be inspiring as well. Happy staffers are excellent staffers.
5. Provide a Calming Space
Visitors on the trade show floor can quickly become overstimulated by all the lights, sounds and chaos around them. They are also being bombarded with offers and sales pitches, so it’s likely they are just worn out. Offer attendees a haven by providing a calm, soothing environment. Minimize the clutter, provide comfortable flooring and seating, and be sure there is ample room for easy traffic flow so that guests can easily stop and chat without creating a traffic jam. Make your visitors feel welcome.
By following these 5 easy steps, you will drive more foot traffic into your booth. Remember that all of these work in tandem though, so you can’t just pick and choose your favorites.
To help with your promotions before, during, and after your event, check out the Using Promotions & Social Media to Get More Trade Show Visitors white paper. This book is packed with helpful tips and advice that will add to the foot traffic you receive at your next event. Click here for your free copy.