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Getting the Most from Your Trade Show Marketing Investment

Arguably, the single largest B2B Marketing line item is the Trade Show which, according to Forrester Research, can average a full 20% of the annual Marketing budget. It’s an investment well worth attention given that most small to mid-sized businesses still rank Trade Shows in their top two largest sources of new business, clients and contacts. Done well, the shows payoff. But what does “done well” mean?

Most will say success lies in Pre-working the show. This responsibility falls on both the Exhibitor as well as the Promoter. Linking up with a strong full service Promoter is a strong leverage point as setting up pre-event meetings and engagements is critically important and can greatly improve the effectiveness of the trade show. Yet, many Exhibitors overlook/underfund this activity in their trade show marketing budget. Driving traffic to the booth through breakfasts, parties, pre-arranged meetings etc. greatly increases the return on your investment in the trade show, but comes with its own costs. This activity is hard work and tiring, but is crucial.

Conduct at the show itself seems to hold the next nuggets for success. A well-thought-out plan for the show will pay dividends. Clear Staff Responsibilities limits confusion and ineffective contacts. Even a small team should think through who is staffing the booth; when and what role does each play during that shift. As the old adage says, we only get one chance to make a good first impression. Effective Data Collection Strategies also sometimes gets overlooked by smaller companies where one poor soul is “doing everything”. We are all sure we will remember that great conversation we had, but memories fade, cards get lost (along with that piece of paper with all his info) etc. Think about how you will record contact data and the important details of the contact before the show and your show will be much more effective.

And last but in no way least, effective, timely FOLLOW-UP after the trade show. Most potential customers expect you will contact them and it is generally a failed strategy to leave follow-up to the customer. Game Day excitement and drive will soon be lost if you do not stay hot on the trail.

These simple points may seem elementary but they are critical none-the-less to maximizing this crucial investment. We at Trade Show Displays will do our best to make your display an eye-catching effective communications tool to leverage your efforts toward success. Good Luck and Good Selling!

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