How you influence your audience to attend your trade show event will vary, but there are a few general strategies you wont want to miss.
If you’ve followed the steps in my previous article, Steps to Build Awareness for Your Trade Show Event, you are ready to move for full event promotion. Telling people that the event is happening is easy. Now, you need to get people to actually show up.
Regardless of your event type, these simple action steps can help to ignite interest for any trade show:
- Educate your audiences on event topic or theme
- Repeat the previous step three times
- Inform your audience of an interesting, unknown learning opportunity
- Highlight non-competing vendors the recipient may also like
- Use a combination of print and digital advertising
As a vendor you are excited about the event for visibility, closing deals, or building your network lists. The audience your marketing strategies will be targeting is obviously seeking different things. Make a list of three global benefits anyone who shows up would receive. Build your promotional messaging from that list.
Next, identify what campaigns you will be pushing through each delivery channel. For generating event interest you may connect mostly with Facebook Groups, Twitter, or Instagram. Focus on the areas where you will find an audience most likely to consider attending.
You can’t influence someone who simply isn’t able to attend. But, you can influence someone who can attend, but wouldn’t normally.
Share some knowledge.
I’ve added education as the first step in your content creation strategy because a great teacher inspires. Get your audience inspired about the event by sharing relevant FYI’s. If it’s a rock show, highlight a fascinating gem they’d expect to see at your booth. Or, if it’s a health and nutrition event, share market news, latest statistics, etc. The topic must be able to attract those who already know the facts and, those intrigued to learn more just the same. Think short and sweet for the sweep.
Your blog and print materials will take some time and effort. Build blog topics that education and inform. Share them on your social media channels and email lists. My favorite event promotion technique is a direct-mail and digital booklet. You can use a booklet to include all stages of your promotion from awareness, intention to action.
There are so many opportunities you can take advantage of using a booklet!
- It’s like your formal invitation
- A place you can share a quick benefit list
- Highlight how-to receive those benefits
For your print promotion, avoid magazine length materials. First, it’s probably not in-budget. Also, unless you have data that proves the ROI for this, it can be risky. Instead, develop something prospective attendees they can breeze through during their busy schedule, retain, and are attentive long enough to book their place at the event.
These steps will hopefully help focus your efforts towards a well attended event! Email me if you’ve tried a few of these and what your experience has been. I’d love to hear what strategies others are finding success with.