Do you have a clear strategy in mind for your next trade show?

Exposure Group, Benjamin Feltham

In marketing, some strategies are more assured to have a positive impact than others. For example, if you promote your business online and you use pay-per-click advertising, there's a guarantee that you will pay a set amount of money for each new qualified lead you get. That's how it works. With other approaches to advertising- like, say, going to trade shows - it's not so simple.

There's no way around this - a trade show is a gamble. You're spending a lot of money on travel, lodging, meals and other expenses for all employees who make the trip, and there's no guarantee that your investment pays off. You hope it does. You put a great deal of effort into winning over customers and making sales to ensure it does. It's just not a sure thing, though.

A trade show is a gamble. You're spending a lot of money, and there's no guarantee that your investment pays off.

With this in mind, it's good to go into each new event you attend with a clear strategy. After all, the trade show environment can be fast-paced and overwhelming. If you don't have a plan ready in advance, the whole event could pass you by, and then your investment is sure to be a bust.

What's your trade show strategy?

The key to advancing your brand activation goals in the trade show environment is to start from a good strategic foundation. As Forbes correctly pointed out, the most important part of the process is choosing the right trade shows at which to market your company in the first place. What events can you attend that will have exactly the right audience for you to build your brand reputation?

This isn't just about selling, either. When you attend a trade show, there are no guarantees that the people you meet will instantly agree to shell out cash for your product. What you can do, however, is work on building relationships so your chances of making sales in the future will be better.

To this end, it's wise to go into each trade show you attend with a specific attack plan. Who's going to be there? How can you showcase your brand so it will have a clear appeal to the consumers you're targeting? The more you can plan out in advance, the easier it will be to execute that plan when the time comes.

Develop an understanding of your audience

As with any form of advertising, a big key to marketing at trade shows is having a good understanding of the audience you're catering to. If possible, try to research the consumers you're targeting and learn what makes them tick. What sorts of products are they looking for? What marketing messages are they willing to listen to?

Try to figure out what gets your audience going.Try to figure out what gets your audience going.

According to the Queensland Government business and industry portal, everything gets easier once you've done some background research on your audience. At this point, you can write a detailed list of selling points for your product and use it to drive the point home in every customer conversation you have.

Additionally, once you know your audience well, you can start to think about what will appeal to them visually. Behind all great trade show marketers, are compelling exhibition stands - what will yours look like? It depends on what the audience wants.

Figure out the right booth design

A big part of getting through to your intended audience is having a trade show display that will call out to people. According to Business 2 Community, there are a few different factors that play into this. One is location. Where are you setting up shop at the trade show venue? Are you in a high-traffic area that's sure to get lots of eyes, or stashed away in a corner that's hard to find?

You always want to have the right look and feel for your trade show booth.

Beyond being in the right place, you also want to have the right look and feel for your booth. Ideally, it would be approachable, with plenty of space in front, inviting people to stick around and learn more about your business. Of course, you also need the right colours, fonts, images and infographics to entice people visually and hold their attention.

Reach out for help if you need it

If you're looking for a little guidance on drawing up the perfect trade show booth design, you're in luck. At Exposure Group, we have a team of design professionals who are ready to help you draw up the perfect exhibit for building relationships and winning customers at your next industry event.

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, people judge companies by their first impressions at trade shows all the time. If you get help from the professionals before your next trade show, you'll have what it takes to ensure that the first impressions you make are good ones.