Do you struggle to see a positive ROI on your marketing efforts? Are you spending more per lead than you are gaining? Are you trying the same strategies over and over and over again with no increase in sales? Then maybe you need to go guerilla on your marketing tactics.
A great place to start is with our trade show industry blog where you will find all sorts of marketing and branding and advertising articles to help you.
But since you are reading this article now, let us present you with the 5 insane marketing ideas that just may work for you at your next trade show.
1. Be Memorable, Be Different
Most booths look similar because they choose stock photos, plain text or graphics, and have presenters in khaki pants and collared shirts with a trade show vendor badge around their neck. This is perfectly fine! It’s even expected. But what if your brand allows for something totally different?!
How about a highly noticeable dress code that stands out and presents your business in a loud, catchy, but memorable fashion. How about a fully customized trade show display that conveys your brand’s message and pulls people into your booth to ask for more information. Step away from the norm and give your customers something fresh and out of the box.
2. Speaking of Memorable – Go Home With Your Prospects
We’ve all been there; we’ve walked through a trade show and now have a non-recyclable plastic bag full of plastic swag and pamphlets that will likely stay in that bag in a corner of our office until spring cleaning. Why not put your brand in the hands of prospects in a manner that will be used, remembered and acted upon.
You could start by snagging the booth closest to the entrance and giving away eco-friendly canvas or bamboo bags for all the rest of the swag printed with your brand and CTA. You could provide a branded giveaway that conveys your message but is useful to use on a daily basis or simply too awkward to leave in a corner (cactus plant anyone?).
3. Interactive Digital
We’ve written before about tossing out the paper sign-up lists and going digital. Not only is this more eco-friendly, it’s also been proven to increase follow-ups and make it easier to actually reach out to prospects while saving time and effort to digitally input handwritten email addresses.
Take the technology one step further and offer a digital game at your tradeshow booth. Make the game interactive, rewarding, fun and instantly shareable. This will increase your brand reach, excited buzz surrounding your booth and brand, and is simply much more engaging than a piece of paper.
4. Incentivize Social
Your business certainly has a presence on the appropriate Social Media platforms for your customers (if not, read this article about how to get there). Leverage those platforms to increase your trade show ROI.
While at the trade show, post often using the trade show’s hashtag and one of your brand at the trade show. Encourage your Social media follower to do the same. Take behind the scenes set-up photos, and live stream video for a time.
While you are doing that, have a team member scanning the platforms for mentions and then interact with and respond to the users/customers talking about your brand online. Then take it one step further! Create a digital scavenger hunt with a prize for those who solve the puzzle or retweet the most relevant content or whatever measure you want to use. Just make sure it increases your leads, engages your customers, and is FUN.
5. Strategic Networking
Whether you are a business to business or a business to consumer, you have opportunities to form strategic partnerships through networking with complementary businesses. What better time to do this when you are all under one trade show event roof?
It may seem an unlikely time to build relationships, but if you’ve hired a trade show manager and event staff, you are freed up to scope out your fellow exhibitors and identify where alliances can be forged. Spend some time walking the show floor and speaking with fellow vendors, of course ones you’ve done your homework on because you knew they would be attending. Beginning this conversation face-to-face will pay dividends as your partnership grows and your customer base increases.
These tips may be unconventional, they may be insane, but they are also effective at building new leads, incentivizing current customers, and leaving a lasting impression on prospects. Try a few at your next event and then leave us a note below to let us know what worked for you.