Plan for the Next Trade Show

- Tuesday, August 07, 2012

For many business owners, exhibiting at trade shows is considered a competitive sport. If you want to be the one who wins the game, now is the time to start planning how you’ll innovate –and integrate –the trade show. You should be working on ways to:

Customize your message. Your customers are different from your prospects, so design different conversations for each. Use insights to individualize your messages and bolster your appeal. Remember: Customization is essential to effective follow-up, as well.

Listen. When you’re at a trade show, don’t just sell. One of the most important things you can do at any event is listen. Engage with our audiences and get their input.

Connect before, during and after. The B2B buyer’s journey has changed. It’s no longer linear; it’s circular; and digital technology allows you to maintain contact as buyers move around this new path. Use social media networks, email and apps to help you discreetly fit in, providing information that’s relevant before, during and after the trade show and before, during and after the sale, as well.

Measure value. Carefully assess your trade show strategy's strengths and weaknesses. Consider all trade show exhibiting expenses as you calculate cost-per-contact, cost-per-lead and ultimately, overall ROI. With the longer B2B selling cycle, it may take months for you to reach that final number, but even so, you’re still responsible for thorough records, data and analysis.

B2B marketers must adopt a customer-centric approach that’s compelling, customized and consistent –whether they’re at a trade show or back at the office, designing campaigns. Success at trade shows today depends on a well-oiled strategy and you’ll need systems in place for data collection, automated analysis and targeted distribution.

Start planning now.

For information on your trade show exhibit, contact The Exhibit Source.


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