Deciding to exhibit at a trade show or conference can cost your company a lot of money, resources and time. Strategically planning for this event can help you get the most out of your trade show experience, and hopefully get you the leads to grow your business.
What do you want to get out of it? How many attendees do you want to stop at your booth How many leads do you hope to generate? How many products do you want to sell? Are you focusing on promotion or hoping to launch a new product?
You can have more than one goal, of course, but the point is that you need to be clear about what your participation in the trade show is going to achieve. Determine what your ROI would be – if one new customer helps you justify you being at the event, then focus on getting that customer.
You need to choose the trade show or conference that will give your business the best ROI in terms of your goals. If your goal is on-site sales, exhibiting at that big splashy trade show where your booth is among dozens that sell similar products may not be the best choice.
You want to choose a trade show that best targets the audience that you want to reach, and best suits your participation goals. Find out what the particular trade show’s objectives are, and investigate and evaluate the show’s audience.
Who are you targeting with your trade show display? Casino Operators? Host and Loyalty Managers? Marketing Managers? IT managers?
If you are targeting multiple audiences, make sure you have appropriate information to meet the needs of each.
Put the word out that you’re participating in a particular event by inviting your clients, customers, suppliers, and other contacts to attend the event. Be sure you give them all the details, such as your booth number. Be sure to advertise you will be going to the event on your website as well.
Request the pre-show attendee list (if it’s available) and market to them in advance.
You can also advertise in the conference program if one is available. Programs are handed out to attendees and provide them with conference information, such as session topics, times, and descriptions.
So now you’re ready to attend that trade show or conference -- almost. Below are tips for putting together a trade show display that wows your audience and draws a crowd.
Learn what the Twitter hashtag is for the event and post what you are promoting or what you are giving away. Like the organization’s Facebook page. If they allow it, post teasers or questions to engage the audience.
Use an interactive display, such as a quiz or game on a computer, a contest draw, or a scheduled demonstration. It doesn’t need to be fancy to draw people’s interest. Advertise to the pre-show list what will be happening at your booth.
Having some kind of prize drawing or contest is a great way to collect contact information from booth visitors. You can give away promotional items to encourage people to participate. Advertise to the pre-show list that you will be having a prize drawing at your booth.
Small items that people can take away and use (while being reminded about your business) are best. Be sure you place these items in a location where people will have to walk into or through your trade show display to get them.
Give people who approach your trade show display a friendly greeting and welcome their questions. Be sure that your body language is friendly. Don’t stand there with your arms crossed over your chest, for instance. Chat with booth visitors, and nd out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in. Be prepared to offer speci c solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.
You’ll want to have a good supply of color iers and brochures as well as order forms, price sheets and business cards that you can hand out to booth visitors. Make it easy for them to nd the information on your business later.
Someone has to be there to greet browsers, engage them in conversation, and take their questions. If you can’t be there every minute the trade show is open, you’ll need to have at least one other person to help man your booth.
Many companies will send their “rookies” to tradeshows. Sending new staff people is not always the wisest decision, however, as they may not have all the answers about your products or services. If you do send a new staff member, be sure to include an experienced employee as well. That way, newer staff will be able to watch and learn.
Often, exhibitors sit behind their tables while attendees stand looking down at them –- get up, stand in the front half of your booth and engage! Also, get off your phone or computer. Nothing is worse than watching one of our exhibitors miss valuable exhibitor time because he or she is one the phone. There are typically periods of down time during any conference to follow up on voicemail or e-mails.
Your exhibitor badge at CMTC gains you access to the sessions. Sit in on them, engage the person next to you and talk about what you learned with the attendees that visit your booth.
Search for the app in your app store by searching Casino Marketing & Technology* and use the Attendee and Chat features while onsite to contact your target attendee.* app will be available 2 weeks prior to the event and only those that download it will be able to receive the messages sent within the app
Follow up with contacts and leads you made during the trade show as soon as possible. The faster you send them out, the more your business will stand out from the rest.