Increase your booth traffic
Increased attendee traffic to your booth is one of the most popular options for a better business connected with your participation in the exhibition or trade show. Now there is a bunch of possible ways to achieve this.
First of all, don’t forget to invite your existing clients and prospects to visit your booth at the show offering them a VIP pass. Do it not only once and use different communication channels.
Promote your attendance as often and massively as possible to a maximum variety of available communication touch points like your website, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ profile, in trade publication ads, your email signature footer, as well as on your quotation documents and customer invoices!
But within this article we want to focus on strategies gaining new fresh qualified leads and prospects.
1. Start your exhibit promotion far before the event starts
Your pre-show marketing is an important key to your exhibition success. Therefore spend some time on setting up a strong pre-show action strategy.
Contact the event organizer of your show to find out whether they will publish the list of pre-registered attendees for the exhibitors some weeks in advance. This would be one reliable list with high potential. Those people are already scheduled their exhibition attendance and you can invite them directly to visit your exhibit.
Contact this list prior to the event through direct LinkedIn InMails, attractive post mails or personalized postcards, email, phone calls, or even better a combination of all. Offer them a special attractive incentive that encourages them to visit your booth during the show.
2. Use all available social media marketing channels like a Pro
There are many different options available on different platforms. I just want to point out those which I use preferably at the moment.
Check out whether the organizer has created a special #hashtag for the show. If yes, use the hashtag intensively.
Create a specific individual circle on Google+ for each of your trade shows and invite your followers within other circles to join. Check out available and thematic fitting Google+ communities, join them, add at first some useful comments and publish one or two articles of interest (without any direct promotion of your company or brand), and to the end you invite the community members to visit your booth.
Optionally you could also organize a “sneak” hangout session on Google+1, for example to present new products to the public as a special pre-view event. This again could be worth taking special marketing actions for.
3. Use online press release(s) for more booth traffic
Take advantage of the large market influence and brand visibility by publishing professionally created online press releases. And this is not expensive at all, if you use the right suppliers. We have recently paid less than 40 Bucks for a perfect 500 word press release text including the nationwide distribution within the most important news sites with a further submission to more than 700 online news sites and blogs. If you are interested in more info about this excellent supplier, just send us a short email.
4. Edutain the visitor crowd
Edutain stands for educating and entertaining your booth visitors and passers-by. The primary reason why business people attend exhibitions is to look for new products and services. They are eager to learn about the solution which your products or services offer to help them solving their business problems.
Whenever possible, demonstrate your product or service physically on your exhibition stand and show the attendees what makes them unique. A cool, informative and interactive presentation will engage your audience. Seeing is believing, but whenever feasible, let your visitors touch the products, let them learn by doing how to use them – personal direct experience is what makes face-to-face marketing so compelling and successful.
5. Create curiosity
Conduct an unusual or unexpected activity within your exhibit to catch the attention of passers-by. When only a few people create a small crowd, more and more people will stop and also look. This creates curiosity among passers-by that makes them want to stop and find out what is happening. Performance art like sketching caricatures on an iPad, a smart young magician or a speed juggler are still attractive enough to stop visitor traffic long enough for your stand team to start a first short talk with the viewers.
6. How to attract larger crowds
The attraction of larger crowds at a show and converting the majority of them into leads is a more complicated, sophisticated matter. My advice is to engage only real professional entertainers or trade show infotainers like Anders Boulanger with large trade show experience or better leave it on a smaller level. Ahalf-hearted solutionwithamateurs or semi-professionals will mostly create disasters and can damage your company or brand reputation severely.
7. Organize a competition
People love to compete and win something. Therefore such a little public competition can be generate some greater traffic around your booth. Take care that the competition type and claimed prizes align with your brand and your exhibition objectives.
Dropping business cards into a lottery drum to win a smartphone may result in hundreds of new business cards – but only a minority – if any – will show up as qualified prospects willing to buy your product or service.
8. Provide a relax zone
Get passers-by into your booth just by offering them a comfortable place to sit and relax some time. Exhibition attendees run around in the halls all day long. Maybe you can provide them a 3 min. relax chair massage, a cold drink, or even a little warm snack. Provide handy charging stations close to their seats. Donate your audience a few minutes rest from the crazy, hectic and noisy exhibition environment and they’ll respond positively by spending you their time and exclusive attention in return.
9. Give aways?
Promotional items can generally be a smart strategy to share your brand you’re your prospects and customers. But if you distribute stickers, pens, calendars, balls, cups, T-shirts etc. in large amounts to the by-passing visitors to create some awareness in your exhibition stand or products, you have mostly taken a wrong direction.
It’s almost the same like throwing money notes out of window and watch the people grabbing the notes from the sidewalk. In both ways you have created a large crowd but no real engagement with your brand or company. Use the above mentioned strategies to convince visitors to stop at your stand and then hand over special unique give aways as a little reward for the time the visitors have spent with you.