Trade Shows are Back! Three Ways to Maximize your Trade Show Presence

Trade shows are back baby and we’re here to tell you about how to max­i­mize your pres­ence to make the most of your invest­ment and time.

Trade shows are a fan­tas­tic way to get out and mar­ket your prod­uct or ser­vices and make one-on-one in per­son con­nec­tions with your key audi­ences. Not only that but they also pro­vide a tremen­dous oppor­tu­ni­ty to gath­er valu­able insights to inform future prod­ucts and mar­ket­ing efforts, and of course, are a great way to cap­ture a ton of con­tent that can be used in mar­ket­ing efforts through­out the year.

Our team recent­ly had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to attend two recent trade shows with our client, Mal­co Prod­ucts, SBC. As one of the nation’s lead­ing tool man­u­fac­tur­ers for the build­ing trades, we teamed up with Malco’s mar­ket­ing team to help launch and pro­mote new prod­ucts at both the AHR Expo (the “World’s Largest Heat­ing, Ven­ti­la­tion, Air Con­di­tion­ing Show”) in Atlanta, GA and the Inter­na­tion­al Roof­ing Expo in Dal­las, TX. While each of these shows tar­get­ed a slight­ly dif­fer­ent audi­ence and seg­ment, each pre­sent­ed a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case what sets Mal­co apart from its com­pe­ti­tion in the space, dri­ve prod­uct inter­est and sales and raise vis­i­bil­i­ty of the Mal­co brand.

So how do you make the most of trade shows when it comes to mar­ket­ing and PR? Here are three tips and take­aways from our recent events that you can use at an upcom­ing trade show or event:

Tip 1: It’s All About the Content

As a com­pa­ny that sells tools, it’s no sur­prise that one of the most pow­er­ful mar­ket­ing tac­tics for the com­pa­ny is to demon­strate its prod­ucts on-site to atten­dees. This not only show­cas­es the product’s ben­e­fits and fea­tures in action, but it also pro­vides an oppor­tu­ni­ty to gath­er on-the-spot con­tent that can be used both in real-time and after the show to pro­mote a prod­uct or service.

Our team was busy cap­tur­ing pho­tos, videos and shoot­ing Face­book Live videos to build aware­ness of Malco’s pres­ence at the show and to also gen­er­ate excite­ment and aware­ness for these prod­ucts to key audi­ences who were not at the show—all of which we’ll be using in mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als for months to come.

Bell­mont Part­ners Best Prac­tice: Plan ahead to make sure to have a ded­i­cat­ed team mem­ber on site who can focus on cap­tur­ing social con­tent at the show, as this some­times can get lost or over­looked in the busi­ness of work­ing the booth. Cre­ate a shot list of pho­tos and videos you want to take before the show, but also be on the look­out for those moments to cap­ture and tell good sto­ries. Get a good mix of the offer­ing, the peo­ple and the show itself. Then think about how you can use every piece of con­tent in social media posts, YouTube videos, blogs, ads and emails to max­i­mize your efforts!

Tip 2: Connect with Influencers

Three people stand by banner talkingWhen it comes to work­ing with influ­encers, it’s all about build­ing rela­tion­ships and estab­lish­ing mutu­al­ly valu­able partnerships—and what bet­ter way to do that then in per­son! Trade shows offer a unique oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet influ­encers from across the coun­try and to authen­ti­cal­ly con­nect with them. By per­son­al­ly invit­ing influ­encers to your trade show booth, giv­ing them one-on-one time with key exec­u­tives, and show­ing them your prod­uct in action, you’re invest­ing time into build­ing a deep­er con­nec­tion with these crit­i­cal mar­ket­ing partners.

Influ­encer mar­ket­ing isn’t going any­where any time soon. So, if it is not part of your strat­e­gy, you might want to recon­sid­er shift­ing to pri­or­i­tize build­ing gen­uine rela­tion­ships that can gar­ner heart­felt rec­om­men­da­tions.  Hav­ing a strong rela­tion­ship with these part­ners is cru­cial for your influ­encer mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. Plus—as an extra bonus—by con­nect­ing with these folks at the show, it’s a great way for them to gath­er and share valu­able con­tent from your booth with their fans. A win-win!

Bell­mont Part­ners Best Prac­tice: Research the influ­encers in your indus­try before attend­ing and send a mes­sage to see if they’ll be attend­ing the show and if they’d be inter­est­ed in get­ting an exclu­sive look at your prod­uct, or bet­ter yet, a one-on-one con­ver­sa­tion with a key exec­u­tive. Be sure to send a fol­low up thank you note! And nev­er expect an influ­encer to work for free – they’re build­ing a brand too!

Tip 3: Find Creative Ways to Encourage Social Sharing

While cap­tur­ing and shar­ing your own con­tent from a trade show is great, hav­ing oth­ers share your con­tent is even better!

To help booth vis­i­tors share images and con­tent from the Mal­co , we helped Mal­co cre­ate an inter­ac­tive pho­to wall designed to engage atten­dees and encour­age social shar­ing. One of the walls of Malco’s trade show booth encour­aged vis­i­tors to take a pho­to and post it on social media, tag­ging the com­pa­ny, to be entered for the chance to win a larg­er prize. Plus, every­one who snapped a pic also got instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion with a small­er tool prize right in the booth. We also pro­vid­ed part­ners and staff with sam­ple posts to share across their own net­works to get the word out.

Bell­mont Part­ners Best Prac­tice: Embrace user-gen­er­at­ed con­tent (UGC) as a way to ampli­fy your trade show impact. Con­sid­er all the part­ners you have who can share to their net­works and cre­ate unique and engag­ing expe­ri­ences at the booth to encour­age atten­dees to get in on the social action.

Two men pose by company banner

Trade shows are the per­fect way to hear first-hand from your cus­tomers about how they use your prod­ucts and ser­vices and to gath­er con­tent for mar­ket­ing col­lat­er­al. And while these con­ver­sa­tions may hap­pen at the show, it is essen­tial to extend the life of your trade show beyond the actu­al venue. Max­i­mize your impact by send­ing out post-show let­ters, imple­ment­ing a dig­i­tal ad cam­paign tar­get­ed at atten­dees and use the con­tent, insights and sto­ries heard on the show floor on your social chan­nels includ­ing social posts, blogs and newslet­ters. Don’t for­get to share inter­nal­ly! No mat­ter what you plan to do, be sure to map out a plan to make your trade show pres­ence a suc­cess, long after the doors close.

Inter­est­ed in learn­ing how to max­i­mize your trade show pres­ence? Drop us a line at info@bellmontpatners.com.

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