Quality over quantity. It’s a simple enough concept. Yet when it comes to drawing crowds at a tradeshow, one of the most common mistakes exhibiting rookies can make is only focusing on drawing the largest possible crowd.
Quantity alone won’t drive sales. The place can be packed with people, yet if they have absolutely no need for your business, chances are you’re missing out on opportunities to focus on real prospects.
So by all means make sure to incorporate the flashy graphics, free giveaways and hospitality that draw in crowds, but take it a step further and focus on targeting attendees who will turn into quality leads – or better yet – sales. Here are some tips to do just that.
- Promote Early
Don’t just leave it up to chance that your hot prospects will find you. Most show attendees know which booths they plan to visit long before they hit the registration booth. Reach out via email, social media and/or mailed marketing materials with a personal invitation to stop by. Your first point of contact should be at least 30-days out. You’ll want to follow up again about two weeks out.
- Spell Out “WIIFM”
Or “What’s In It For Me.” Don’t just invite prospects to stop by and say hi. Make sure they know why they should. Will they learn something to help their business? Are you showcasing new products or conducting live demonstrations? Be sure not to use generic or ambiguous messaging. By stating exactly what’s in it for them, you’re more likely to draw in the right crowd.
- Use Meaningful Messaging
A well-designed exhibit is a must to attract attendees. But if you want to attract the right attendees, make sure your messaging – whether it’s a huge sign or a handout – is clear and meaningful to your audience. Vague phrases such as “Envision the Possibilities” may draw in the curious, but not necessarily real prospects. So be clear what you have to offer and to whom.
- Be Mindful of Freebies
Everyone loves promotional items and giveaways. But not everyone is a prospect. If you are giving away an iPad, there will be no shortage of attendees with their hands out. But to secure quality leads, tailor your giveaways to your specific audience. What can you offer that is tied to your products or services? What giveaway specifically solves their needs and ties back to what you do? Whatever it is, I’m not saying be stingy or cheap, just be mindful of what you are giving away and make sure it helps you generate leads and ideally sales. So when it comes to planning your next event – before you send your first promotional Tweet or get excited about giveaways– take a step back and make sure you know exactly who it is you want to attract. Once you see your sales numbers, you’ll be glad you did.
Need help attracting quality crowds? Contact us and we’ll be glad to help you create a program that provides proven ROI.
About Peggy Swords
Peggy Swords is the founder and president of Excalibur Exhibits, a $10 million Houston-based exhibit manufacturing and production corporation. Excalibur Exhibits designs, builds, delivers, assembles and disassembles as many as 300 exhibits per year. Swords was named as a finalist for NAWBO Houston 2003 Woman Business Owner of the Year and 2005 Enterprising Woman of the Year Finalist. Additionally, Excalibur Exhibits is a five time member of the Inc 5000, a three time member of the LSU100 and a two time member of the Houston Fast 100, a list of fastest growing privately held companies.