The day of your trade show is finally here! All of your preparation has been completed and you have laid the groundwork to accomplish your SMART goals through Inbound Marketing techniques. Now, you must continue your momentum you built in the months leading up to your trade show and use your plans to accomplish your goal, whether it be qualified leads, email addresses, or something different.
While your plans leading up to the trade show are important, your actual trade show dates are where you will have to put them all into action. If you’ve been preparing properly, you will have already created a goal for your show and have systems in place to track and measure this goal.
Overall, the goal of any trade show is to generate a ROI from your attendance. Although each individual company’s specific goal for the show will be different, each company can still take similar steps to perform tasks that will lead them towards accomplishing their goals.
Our Marketing Metrics Calculator can help ensure you are generating a ROI from your trade show marketing efforts. Download it here to get started!
How to Use Inbound Marketing at Your Trade Show
Your inbound marketing tactics shouldn’t stop once you’ve arrived at the show. You should be utilizing your pre-planned materials along with other inbound marketing skills during your entire trade show experience to accomplish your goal as well as see an ROI from your attendance at the show.
Go over your goal sheet with other team members
Have a meeting when every team member arrives at the show to check in and go over your game plan. If you’ve utilized a goal sheet, have a copy for every team member and go over daily goals for the first day of the show.
If you are the team leader, be sure to take note of what your team member’s goals are so you can check in with them throughout the day to see their progress and encourage them.
Designate a team member (or a few team members) to post on social media during the event
You worked hard to share your event attendance on your social media accounts before the event started. You want to be sure to follow up on this and share photos, videos, and posts from the event on your accounts.
By designating a team member to be in charge of the posting (or in charge of sending media to your social media manager to post), you will ensure that your social posts won’t fall to the wayside or get lost during the busy day.
During the Show
Social Media Monitoring and Promotion
Be sure your designated social media guru is snapping and posting photos during the trade show. If you have any demos you are performing, add those to your live feed. Use the event’s hashtag to make sure your posts get maximum visibility for all of the show’s attendees.
Another way to use social media is by creating a time-sensitive contest, discount, or product debut during the trade show. You can let your followers know about your giveaway on social media and tell them that you will be entering visitors into your contest during a certain time frame to encourage them to visit your booth.
Blogs and Website Posting
During your preparation process, you worked hard to let your current contacts know you would be attending your trade show through blog posts, web posts, and emails.
Now, continue on with that momentum by posting content on your website and blog to let them know everything that is happening at your trade show.
For example, let’s say you chose to debut a new product or service at your trade show. You could:
- Hype up the product or service beforehand in blog posts, social media posts, and website posts
- Let your contacts know when and where you will be debuting your new product
- Take photos of the debut and share them on social media
- Create content around the debut to share on your website or blog after the trade show so your contacts are in the loop
Even though your main goals for the trade show center around visitors who are there in person, you can still provide the same information on your other channels of communication. This way, you can maximize your visibility and possibly generate new leads from the content.
Create Opportunities for Future Contact with Leads
One of the reasons you worked so hard in your preparations for the trade show is so you could accomplish your SMART goal. So, once you are there, don’t lose sight of that goal!
One of the best ways to see a solid ROI from trade show attendance is to create opportunities for future contact with leads you meet at the show.
This can be accomplished in a number of ways:
- Tell your new lead you will be following up with them. While this may seem simple, it is a great way to follow up with a new lead.
If you are in a conversation with them, create an opportunity for follow up by offering to send them further information or an educational article. Then, get their contact information and let them know you will be following up with the information in a specified amount of time. Finally, actually follow up with them!
- Run a contest for new leads. You’ve already created landing pages for your trade show. Use them to run a contest for visitors to your booth. This will allow you to follow up with the winners for their prizes and also the not-so-lucky ones to thank them for participating.
- Offer your visitors a chance to sign up for a email newsletter subscription or article subscription. While this may not be a personal way to follow up, you will still be providing them with educational information on a weekly or monthly basis.
You can then gauge their interest in your product or service and use that as a way to send them more personalized nurturing emails.
Team Member Meetings
After each day of your trade show, hold a meeting with your team members to go over your goals for the day.
If your show is just one day:
- Discuss plans for follow up
- Review team goals against the overall show goal.
If your show is multiple days:
- Set new daily goals
- Review the progress made towards your overall goal
- Come up with strategies for the next day based on what worked and what didn’t work during today’s session
- Make any tweaks you need to your marketing plan and come back ready to work the next day!
You have put a large amount of time and preparation into your trade show event! Make sure your time was well spent by continuing to use inbound marketing tactics to engage with new leads at your show.
By taking every opportunity you can to initiate conversation with leads both in person and online, you will be able to maximize your trade show ROI and reach your predetermined goals.
Stay on track during your trade show by developing overall and daily goals for each day of your show. Use our free Goal Sheet template to create your own! Download it here: