Big brands, start-ups and SMEs across the country often get involved with trade and consumer shows, on the premise of generating more business.
But with the average show costing a few thousand pounds, are they seeing a return on investment?
We think events offer a great opportunity to showcase a company and its offerings, but maximising a show’s potential takes some skill. Here we share our top tips to help keep your brand front of mind for longer than just a few hours:
Look like professionals
It’s no good just having a fancy stand with nothing on it. Your stand will be competing against all other companies for your attendee’s attention. Invest in quality marketing collateral that helps to showcase your business. Whether it is wonderful wobblers, branded leaflet dispensers, counter display units or posters, you want to show that you have invested in your brand and that you are serious about what you do. If your stand is bare, boring and disengaging, people will walk on and your business will blend into the background.
The more engaging your stand is the better – think along the lines of live product demonstrations, prizes, giveaways, lectures and if possible, and a space to host one to one meetings.
Offer a ‘party bag’ that will keep your brand front of mind
Show attendees will undoubtedly be given handfuls of promotional merchandise on their way around. Start off by offering something that will be useful to them and showcase your logo, such as a branded jute bag. You could put any number of branded promotional items inside the bag – from moulded USB sticks and lanyards to promotional pens and keyrings, the list is endless. At TheMPC we love nothing more than a creative brainstorm, so put us to the test to see what we can come up with for your brand.
Have all your information to hand
Be prepared to answer questions on your company. Not only will there be guests at the show, you may be approached by a journalist who could help get your business noticed. Don’t get caught out – make sure you and your representatives have your business history available, and a clear outline of exactly what you do.
Trade and consumer shows offer the perfect opportunity to capture data. There are lots of different ways that you can do this. You could use a traditional method such as leaving a bowl for people to put their business cards in, or utilise technology and set up an iPad feedback station. There are now a number of apps that can help you gather opinions and capture data, such as iCapture and QuickTapSurvey. If you want to mix old and new, CamCard’s business card scanning technology may fit the bill.
Utilise social media
Event organisers are utilising social media far more than they used to, and are creating Twitter walls, competitions and live streaming to help engage their audience. It may be useful to see whether the show has a hashtag that you can begin using a couple of weeks before the event starts. That way you can talk to other attendees and key players. You never know, you might also get some inspiration about things you could do at your stand.
If you would like some help or support with your marketing collateral or promotional item design, please call us on 01256 352415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to work on any size project, from one-off promotional items to complete campaigns.
Image: (c) Can Stock Photo / marcorubino