In a few short weeks, the Northwest Event Show will be back in-person, on March 1st, 2022, at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. We’re so excited to re-connect, re-ignite our industry, and make new friends along the way. And because we have events and exhibitions on our minds, we thought we’d share our best tips for maximizing your exhibitor experience.
There are many reasons to exhibit at an event, but if you invest in exhibiting you’ll need to make the most of your booth experience. If you follow our tips below, you’ll be well-positioned to maximize your exhibitor experience!
Source: Alabastro Photography
Promote Your Booth Ahead of the Show
If you’re not creating excitement about your booth ahead of the show, it’s a mistake! You put so much work into making your booth, don’t let the traffic flop. Promoting your booth ahead of the show is critical. Below are a few ways to do so.
Give Attendees a Reason To Stop By
Incentivize your audience. Let attendees know if you will give anything away, host a contest, or consider teasing at a product launch. Hinting around with attendees creates intrigue and signals they can’t miss stopping at the booth. For example, if you’re giving away t-shirts or sampling delectable catering, let your audience know ahead. Doing this will keep you top of mind when the show kicks off!
Social media allows you to amplify your reach. Let your audience know that you will be where and when you’ll be exhibiting. Encourage them to come to the show and stop at your booth. Make it easy and share a link to purchase tickets. Leading up to the show give your audience a glimpse behind the scenes and share stories setting up your booth. To extend your reach even further, use the event hashtags, tag the event, and any key speakers or hosts on social media. If you get lucky, they may share the post with their audiences extending your reach, so make sure you use clear messaging and high-quality photos, videos, or graphics to get noticed!
Send Pre-Show Emails
Not everyone attending the show will see your social posts. So if you have an email list, it’s time to break it out! Send an email letting your subscribers know you’ll be attending a tradeshow, make sure to include the date and times as well as your booth number. Let them know you’d love to see them there and have a link to purchase show tickets.
A sample email might look like this:
Hi (First Name),
We’re excited to share that (Your Company) will be at the (Event Name) on (Date) at the (Location). If you’re coming we’d love for you to stop by our booth (enter booth #) and say hello!
If you haven’t got tickets yet, follow this link (enter link).
We hope we’ll see you there!
Keep Your Booth True To Your Brand
Your brand goes way beyond your logo (though you need to have that on display too!). Branding is all about what makes you unique in your market, what value do you offer people who make purchases? And what’s the “why” that got you started in the first place. Answer those questions and you’ll quickly see what makes you unique. Make sure that the booth is true to your brand. It will resonate with your target audience much better.
Source: Alabastro Photography
Add Value For Attendees
There are a lot of booths in exhibition halls. Encourage people to stop by your booth to experience something special. Whatever you offer, make sure it resonates with your target market.
For example, if you are a photo booth company, consider bringing a booth to the show. It will make for a memorable experience and give attendees a way to remember your brand. In addition, you can offer the photos as a download on your website. Then, when attendees go to download the photo, require an email address, this will serve as a way to capture leads while delivering value.
Go Beyond The Booth
Bring enough team members to not only staff your booth but walk around the show. Having your staff attend the networking events, receptions, or after parties allows you to maximize your reach and meet connections well beyond the walls of your booth.
If appropriate, encourage team members to wear branded company merch or create unique shirts for the show. This will gain attention and foster brand recognition as your team experiences the event.
After the Show Follow Up with Leads
Make following up easier for your staff and consider investing in digital lead capture systems. Apps like vCapture by Validar eliminate manual entry, allow you to categorize your leads automatically by value, take notes and integrate with Salesforce.com. vCapture works with any iOS device so an iPhone or iPad is all you need to get started (and if you don’t have one, Validar can provide an iOS device). vCapture also eliminates manual entry allowing you to be the first to follow up! If you are interested in learning more, Validar will be onsite at the #NWES2022 and can make sure you get the solution that best suits your needs!
Additionally, to make the process quick for your sales team, create an email to send out to your leads after the show before the event. This way, you won’t need to waste any time after the event and can send your message out promptly. Finally, thank the attendees for coming to your show, and if applicable, request a follow-up chat, remind them of a specific offer, or send them additional helpful information.
Here is a sample of what a post-show email might look like:
Thank you for stopping by our booth at (event name). It was great to learn about (enter their company name). I wanted to remind you of our (enter promotion) exclusively available to trade show attendees.
If you would like to learn more about this offer, I’d love to chat. Let me know what time works best for you.
Post Exhibiting Host a Team Debrief
After the show, gather your team and debrief! This is the time to explore what went well and could be improved. Leverage this information for future exhibiting opportunities. Take a look at the goals you set ahead of exhibiting and see how your booth metrics line up, and of course, measure your exhibitor ROI. Looking at these data points and asking your team questions will help determine if the event was worth all the effort and money you put into attending. Learn from the booth and file away the notes to revisit for when it’s time to plan the next!
Maximize Your Exhibitor Experience
There you have it, our best tips and tricks to make the most out of your exhibitor experience. Apply these tips whenever you exhibit at an event or tradeshow to ensure your booth succeeds.
Below are the top takeaways:
- Market ahead of exhibiting, this will create excitement and raise awareness of your presence at the event.
- Make your booth valuable to attendees. Ask yourself what they’ll get out of stopping by the booth?
- Follow up with the leads. You worked so hard to get them. Now it’s time to nurture them through the sales cycle.
- After the event, bring the team together to learn what worked and what didn’t at a post-exhibitor meeting. Learn and grow from your findings.