On the outside, trade show booths may seem pretty straightforward.

There are usually a couple of people manning the booth, handing out candy, shaking hands, talking to people.  It will most likely, involve some print materials, signs and some kind of give away.  The good ones will have something memorable like a video or someone in a costume greeting people near the booth.  Appears simple enough, right?  Maybe even a bit formulaic.  What many business owners don’t know is that there is a method for greater success at a trade show that begins before the show starts and doesn’t end when the show is over.   Read on for what to do before, during and after a trade show that will help you to maximize the number of WARM and HOT leads you gain during the show.

Before the Trade Show:

  • In the weeks leading up to a trade show, you need to be busy posting engaging content on your website, blog and social media platforms. Articles, blog posts and videos that get people excited about the show and explain how to navigate it are all ways to get people thinking about the event.
  • You will also want to be using your social media platforms to invite your followers to the show. Let everyone know what they can look forward to at your booth.  You can even link them to other companies who will be at the event.

During the Trade Show:

  • Have prizes and giveaways to gain warm contacts (people who will actually talk to you) and to get email addresses so you can keep in contact long after the show.
  • Be social. If you’re not great at this, bring someone with you who is great at it!  Talk to people, be friendly, take pictures of yourself with attendees and post on social media.
  • Read the blog entitled “5 Ways to Get Noticed at a Trade Show” for simple ways to make your booth stand out and be a place people are drawn to.
  • Try to arrange a meet up or interview with some kind of local media.  You could end up in the paper, on the radio or television, or in a publication.

After the Trade Show:

  • Offer a discount or a coupon to the people you met at the trade show. This is a perfect way to get them to visit your website.
  • Make sure they hear from you 2 or 3 times within the month following the show. An email drip campaign is an incredible effective way of keeping your business at the forefront of peoples’ minds so that they call you when they need you.  (If you don’t know how to set up an effective drip campaign, call Ablaze Media!)
  • An old-fashioned phone call can go a long way with the few people you really connected with at the event. Thank them for showing up and ask them if there’s anything they need from you now or in the near future.
  • Post a thank you on social media along with the pictures you took during the show.
  • Post follow up content. Write about what you learned, or the top three things you took away, or a “Did You Know” article.  Share on social media with the organizers of the event, other vendors and attendees.

Ablaze Media can help with all the stages of trade shows.  Call us today to set up a plan for making this the best trade show ever for your business!