WOC_booths_2015No two trade shows are exactly alike — giving your marketing efforts an opportunity to continuously evolve to best suit the visitors, location and product focus of each show. Two Rivers Marketing supported five clients at the recent World of Concrete trade show in Las Vegas. It was a lively show with optimistic crowds and beautiful weather.

Our team compiled seven marketing takeaways to help your company with the next trade show.

1) Focus on quality of leads.
Lead generation is always an important part of a trade show. Walking around World of Concrete, booth staff jumped to scan a badge before even asking the customer if they were enjoying the show — not to mention asking what products they wanted to learn more about or what features and benefits they were interested in. Too many times brands are worried about quantity over quality. Take time to train booth staff on how to cultivate the early relationship to gain valuable information and worthwhile leads.

2) Let customers try before they buy.
Many outdoor booths had operation stations allowing potential customers to test equipment giving them a good idea about what a product truly can do. Some even made a game out of it by challenging customers to complete tasks as fast as they could. Helping visitors understand how a piece of equipment operates and handles before they write that check makes all the difference in the world.

3) Bring on the competition.
Take testing equipment to the next level with competitions. Many outdoor competitive operation centers challenged visitors to test their skills against others to win prizes. Work with trade show organizers to identify outdoor spaces where you can set up operation areas.

4) Don’t forget low-tech works, too.
Crowds were almost always gathered at a booth with a free keg. Far from high-tech, this was an easy and effective way to engage with visitors. While they weren’t all direct leads, visitors had a memorable experience with the brand that they could (and probably did) share with colleagues. Plus, visitors drank their beer while walking the show with a company-branded mug for thousands to see. Give visitors a reason to engage with your booth and the resources to extend your brand’s reach beyond the booth.

5) Give away functional items.
Several companies gave away backpacks to show attendees, which provided brand promotion throughout the show while giving attendees an easy way to carry literature and other giveaways. Hats are also well-received by trade show visitors. They provide relief from the sun while promoting your brand at eye level.

6) Participate in media interviews.
ForConstructionPros.com interviewed manufacturers on-camera about new products at the show or updates to equipment (i.e., Tier 4). Many videos were posted the same day or the next day for immediate impact. Contact editors at least a month before a trade show to discuss video opportunities. Prepare subject matter experts (SMEs) for product walk-arounds in the booth or sit-down interviews. Provide SMEs with talking points at least one week prior to the show, and encourage them to stick to the talking points during the interview.

7) Gather competitive intelligence.
While it’s important to help man the booth, set aside a few minutes to walk the show. If it’s your first time attending the show, consider inviting your client to join. After all, how often are you and your competitors in the same place at the same time? When walking the show, be sure to note where your key competitors are exhibiting. Are their booths inside or outside? Which hall are they in? Location is everything. Next, note how competitors are displaying their products. Are they using interactive technology to educate visitors? Do their displays highlight the full product line? Don’t be afraid to gather a little competitive intelligence. Chances are others are scoping out your booth with similar thoughts in mind.

About Two Rivers Marketing

Two Rivers Marketing is a full-service business-to-business (B2B) marketing communications agency. Email us with your thoughts or questions at blog@2rm.com.