Getting high foot traffic is definitely a good sign that you’ve done a great job at attracting people to your exhibition stand. This means that you’re getting enough exposure to increase the attendees’ awareness of your brand. But the significant value for your business really lies in getting top-quality traffic.
High-quality leads are the types of attendees that are most likely to engage and transact with your brand. They fit the profiles in your target market and are also most likely to be converted into warm leads or customers. It’s not just about attracting a large volume of people to your booth, but about drawing in individuals who are relevant and valuable to your business.
In this chapter, you’ll learn five strategies you can use to attract more top-quality traffic for your exhibition booth.
Do your prep work diligently
Setting objectives before joining an exhibition is crucial because it provides a clear purpose and direction for your participation, ensuring that your resources and efforts are focused on achieving specific outcomes. Objectives offer measurable benchmarks to assess success, motivate your team, and guide decision-making, which ultimately contributes to a more strategic and successful exhibition experience in alignment with your long-term goals.
Here are the different kinds of event-specific objectives you can set as part of your preparation:
As part of your prep work, it’s also essential to review relevant data and results from previous events and marketing campaigns. This can inform your objective-setting process and give you ideas for crucial elements in your exhibition stand.
Select only the appropriate events to participate in
Joining events costs money and resources, and not every event can bring value to your business. You can have the best-looking booth but if you are not in the right event for your business, your work will most likely go to waste and you will not hit your event-specific goals.
Choosing to participate only in events that are relevant to your industry and your target audience will make your efforts more cost-effective.
Invest time in pre-show marketing
Funnelling your current audience such as social media followers, mailing list, and retail store goers will help drive warm leads to your exhibition booth. You may even give a special discount or freebie to visitors who went to the event from each (or any) of these channels.
Optimise your booth design for your target market
Design your booth to clearly communicate your messaging so that people can instantly know they’re in the right place. It’s important to remember that gimmicks which are not relevant to your audience and products will just be a worthless distraction, and may take you farther from your exhibition objectives.
You can optimise your space more by providing educational content in the form of presentations, workshops, and live demonstrations that will help solve the pain points of your visitors. You can also include social proof (testimonies from previous clients) in the stand design—this can be part of the reel that plays on a screen or as part of a section in the brochure. Social proof enhances your credibility and makes people warm up to your brand more.
Solve real problems
Focus on how your offerings can address real pain points or challenges that attendees may have. Highlight the benefits and practical applications of your products and services to your customers’ needs.
Train your team
Your team working on the floor at trade shows are the direct representatives of your company. Make sure that they’re well-equipped to welcome visitors, answer their queries, and address their concerns which also helps benefit your company.
As part of the preparation, your company can host training sessions that cover product features, benefits, and common customer questions. Encourage your team to ask questions and seek clarifications, so they are well-prepared to address inquiries from attendees.
Additionally, teach your team effective communication skills such as active listening, so they can understand the needs and concerns of visitors. Emphasize the importance of being approachable, smiling, and making eye contact to create a welcoming atmosphere.
Maximise your social media presence
To maximise your social media channels for events, document happening at your booth to boost awareness and engagement. Use the event’s and other pertinent hashtags when posting.
Share engaging and visually appealing content in real time, including photos, videos, live streams, and behind-the-scenes moments. Interact with attendees by responding to comments and messages promptly, and encourage them to share their own experiences using the event hashtag. You may also collaborate with event organizers to expand your reach and visibility. Finally, use social media to promote your booth’s location, special promotions, and exclusive offers, driving good-quality foot traffic to your exhibit.
Collaborate with influencers
If your marketing budget allows it, collaborating with influencers during trade shows can significantly boost your brand’s visibility.
Start by identifying relevant influencers in your industry or niche who align with your event’s theme or target audience. Reach out to them well in advance of the trade show and propose a mutually beneficial partnership, offering them exclusive access to your booth or products, in exchange for their promotion and coverage on their social media platforms.
Provide them with all the necessary information about your products or services, event details, and any unique selling points. Ensure clear communication and expectations, and consider offering compensation or incentives. During the event, coordinate with the influencer to capture engaging content and ask them to provide post-event metrics on views and engagement. This collaboration can extend your reach and credibility to a wider, more targeted audience.
By using these strategies, you can make event attendees genuinely interested in your offerings and increase the likelihood of converting them into potential customers. Building relationships and demonstrating the value of your products or services are key to successful exhibition marketing.