Marketing Review

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6 Strategies For Driving Traffic To Your Trade Show Exhibit

Long ago, you could count on prospects visiting your trade show booth just to check out your new products. That alone was enough to draw them in. Unfortunately, those days seem to be long gone. Today’s events often resemble carnivals. Exhibitors, desperate to catch and hold attendees’ attention, host a variety of contests, games, and other highly-visible activities in their booths.

To say that competition for attendees’ attention is fierce would be a gross understatement.

So given the current state of today’s trade shows, how can you attract targeted visitors to your exhibit? What tactics can you employ to not only catch their attention, but motivate them enough to come talk with you? We’ll give you 6 simple ideas below. The next time you prepare for an event, use the following strategies to maximize your booth traffic.

#1 – Stay In Touch With Registered Attendees Before The Event

Don’t just wait for attendees to visit you on the day of the event. Ask them to register on your website beforehand. Once they’re on your registration list, you can communicate with them through email.

What types of emails should you send them? Provide tips on how they can get the most out of the show. Give tantalizing hints about special giveaways you’ll be hosting at your booth. Also, invite them to contact you to set up an appointment at the show to discuss their business needs.

#2 – Offer An Incentive To Your Existing Customers

Even if your best customers promise to visit your trade show exhibit, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually do so. For that reason, it helps to offer them a special incentive for stopping by.

By incentive, we’re not referring to a typical giveaway item, such as a coffee mug, calendar, or flash drive emblazoned with your company name. We’re referring to inducements that strengthen the relationship you already share with them. For example, offer them a steep discount on a product they need.

Your customers already know you. They trust you and (hopefully) enjoy doing business with you. They’re the most important supporters of your company. They’re the ones you most want to visit your trade show exhibit.

#3 – Execute A Pre-Show Marketing Campaign

Pre-show marketing can mean the difference between drawing a flood of visitors to your exhibit and twiddling your thumbs as attendees walk past it. Exhibitors who do little to no marketing before the event tend to have few people show up at their booths.

Earlier, we mentioned promoting your exhibit to your registration list and offering your existing customers an incentive to stop by. Both are important, but are part of a much larger marketing campaign. You should also use direct mail to promote your booth; buy online ads on websites that cater to your target audience; advertise in trade journals and other publications read by your customers and prospects.

The more you do to market the event and your place in it beforehand, the more visitors you’ll attract when the big day arrives.

#4 – Promote Your Booth On Your Website

This is one of the simplest things you can do to promote your booth. Mention the upcoming event on your site. You can make a site-wide change to display an advertisement at the top of every page. Or just update the pages on your site that receive the most visitors.

The people who visit your website have already identified themselves as being part of your target market. Let them know they can meet you in person by attending the upcoming trade show.

#5 – Motivate Your Staffers To Engage Attendees

Make sure you have the right people working your booth. They should be energetic, sharp in appearance, and proactive when it comes to greeting and engaging attendees. Remember, your staffers are your front line. They’re the ones who are responsible for speaking to prospects and collecting targeted leads that you can follow up on after the show.

To add some competitive fun to their time at the event, create an informal incentive program for them. Offer movie tickets or a gift card to a local restaurant to the person who collects the highest number of leads each day.

One caveat: make sure your employees understand that they shouldn’t be overly aggressive in collecting visitors’ contact details.

#6 – Declutter Your Trade Show Exhibit

Trade shows can be extremely noisy and tumultuous. When attendees walk near your booth, you want them to see that it offers a serene environment. Keep your booth clutter-free to give the impression that it offers a respite from the commotion.

A clean-looking trade show exhibit is not only visually-appealing, but also allows for easy traffic flow. People can move freely throughout your booth without concern for getting caught in a logjam.

Driving traffic to your trade show exhibit isn’t difficult or complicated. The “secret” is to start marketing the event long before the big day arrives. Use the suggestions we’ve provided above to ensure that you achieve your exhibiting goals at the next event.

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