How to Increase Engagement and Leads at Your Next Trade Show

[fa icon="calendar"] Aug 7, 2013 7:30:00 AM / by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda

How to Increase Engagement and Leads at Your Next Trade Show.png

We’ve discussed ways to prep for your tradeshow and what to do with your leads when you’ve got them (check out our blog post, How to Convert Your Tradeshow Leads to Online Prospects), but what about ways to engage the day of the show?

As a manufacturing or tech company, trade shows or similar events present one of the most important opportunities you have to connect with people and get your products seen.  It also represents one of the biggest time and money investments for your business, so you want to not only have a great showing and get tons of traffic, but also secure leads and, ultimately, sales.  Here are a few tips to getting the most from your event.

Don’t Be Boring

You’re at the event for work, but that doesn’t mean it should be boring. Event marketing is about engagement.  Keep the energy up.  Don’t sit or eat (you look unapproachable), and encourage people to have fun.  This is what gets them to stop and take a closer look.

Use Technology

While pen and paper work, they are not the most fun.  A primary way people like to engage? Technology.  Just think about the myriad of devices we like to carry around – smartphones, iPads, laptops, and on and on.  This is because screens present an interactive experience.  If you can have a few iPads handy for people to watch your product videos or demos on, you’ve created a personal experience in the middle of a busy environment. Prompt them to enter their name and email before they can access the videos, or “enter the experience” to capture their information.

Integrate With Social Media

Integrate social media by prompting visitors to use dedicated hashtags to enter into a competition.  They can post a picture of your booth, with your hashtag for the event (like #DIAInbound13) to enter to win various prizes. What prizes? Try cash, or gift certificates to local restaurants or venues.  You can also include bigger ticket tech items, like an iPad or Kindle, and pepper in company-related items like a free product demo.  The last one will also drive people to your website!

Play Some Games

An easy way to engage people is to have some fun. And a little competition never hurt.  Try including one of these to get people to look your way:

  • Prize wheel
  • Bean Bag Toss
  • Video Game

Display a high score for the last two to encourage people to revisit your booth later to see who is winning. These games are about exchange. Have people like you on Facebook or share a picture of your booth on one of their social media profiles for a chance to spin the wheel or play a game.

Set Specific Goals

Want to know if the technology and fun infusion is working?  Track and measure.

You’ve likely heard the advice “Set SMART Goals” too many times to count, but a variety of cases show specificity is key, whether for personal or professional goals.  Do I want a little or a lot of improvement, and what does that mean? Set goals for your tradeshow, then back up with a good strategy. These should include goals for the day(s) of the tradeshow and for the results of the trade show (e.g, we sold this number of the new product to leads captured at the event).

Some goals might include:

  • Number of leads acquired each day
  • Dollar amount of sales each day
  • Dollar amount of sales in the 6 months after the show

Look at smaller metrics too, such as number of clicks garnered through your social media posts (check out 5 Ways Manufacturers Can Leverage Social Media for Trade Show Marketing for more social engagement ideas) or traffic generated via your social media channels from all those pictures or videos posted by your booth visitors. Marketing Automation software, such as HubSpot, can make this last step easy.

People want to connect with your brand in fun ways. Ask your entire company (not just the marketing team) what they appreciated or liked at past events to get more ideas for your upcoming events.

Guide to Aligning Sales and Marketing Quality Leads

About Digital Impact Agency

Digital Impact Agency is a creative firm specializing in interactive media and inbound marketing strategies for manufacturing and technology companies, professional service firms (architectural, engineering, construction, legal and consulting), nonprofits and enterprise companies. We are a team of innovative entrepreneurs focused on creating the most strategic and effective communication channels for our clients.

Topics: social media, manufacturer marketing, technology marketing

Katrice Svanda

Written by Katrice Svanda

Katrice Svanda is a Founder and CEO for Digital Impact Agency, a Houston-based digital media and inbound marketing agency. Her background includes over 15 years of experience in the technology industry from marketing emerging technologies to participating in several technology spin-offs. Katrice has created successful marketing campaigns for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and business-to-government.