For some, spring is a sign of warmer weather and the disappearance of snow. But to those of us in marketing, spring is a time to attend events and tradeshows. While everything leans towards a more digital presence these days, tradeshows and events allow for good face-to-face interactions while providing networking advantages that the digital experience lacks.
Here at Systems Engineering (SE), we exhibit at many tradeshows over the course of a year, so we know firsthand how expensive, yet advantageous, these events can be. Below is a short list of tips to keep in mind when your organization is exhibiting at a tradeshow to ensure you have a successful day with worthwhile ROI:
- Focus on the attendees, not your cell phone. One of the biggest turnoffs for an attendee is to approach a booth and see employees staring into their cell phones. Booth employees should be looking to make the first move by inviting attendees over for a worthwhile engagement.
- Do not eat at your booth. Have a cup of coffee or munch on a snack, but leave the ham sandwich with extra mayo somewhere else. Even better, offer to take a possible lead out to lunch, or go to the main dining area to sit with attendees and network.
- Staff your booth accordingly. The goal of a tradeshow is to have your booth approached by as many attendees as possible. Here at SE, we have found that, depending on the size of the show, the sweet spot is to have three people working the booth at all times. This will allow for bathroom breaks, lunch breaks (re-read the bullet above), networking, and more.
- Make the best impression. The old saying “first impressions are the most important” still rings true. Make sure your employees are dressed in a manner that speaks to your brand, but also looks inviting. Also, remind your employees to keep the booth neat and tidy - you don't want to leave the impression with attendees that your organization is disorganized.
- Lead Collection. When it comes down to brass tacks, the reason you have invested money to exhibit at a tradeshow is to collect leads; basic tradeshow ROI. So, what are you doing to collect them? Involve attendees in a game or raffle; sometimes, the promise of a nice prize will incent them to participate and leave a business card behind.
- Part 2. Once you’ve collected these leads, what are you going to do with them? Create a strategy before the tradeshow that will allow you to vet the new leads and nurture the qualified ones into your overall tradeshow marketing strategy.
Jenna Grant is the Marketing Events Specialist at Systems Engineering. She has been with the company for one year and brings several years of tradeshow and events experience to the SE Team.