The ultimate goal of exhibiting at a trade show is to attract an audience of potential customers to increase brand awareness and grow business. To do this, it is imperative to know the ideal customer and how to reach them.
Unique trade show booths are one way to catch the eye of potential customers, and they can go a long way in bringing attention to the products or services they promote. But there is more than just booth design to consider when it comes to reaching the target audience.
Here are the steps on how to target the perfect attendee and attract them to your custom trade show exhibit at the next face-to-face marketing event.
Define Target Audience
Probably the most obvious way to begin uncovering the attendee to target is by identifying the broader audience and type of attendees expected to attend a specific event.
Consider the following:
- The industries that will be represented
- The number of companies and participants from each industry expected to attend
- Insights about each company’s business, such annual revenue, product/services offered, and the roles/titles of the representatives that typicallly attend the show
From this research, identify specific companies and/or roles/titles of attendees that match your company’s ideal customer profile. Of course, not every attendee is going to fit in the target audience. For instance, for an event with 200,000 attendees, only 20 percent may meet the defined target audience. Therefore, knowing who to reach out to is the first critical step in business growth.
Identify Attendees within the Audience
Once the target audience of a trade show is identified, the next essential step is to find the actual attendees expected to be at the show.
To do this, closely examine the exhibitor list for helpful pieces of information. Look at the demographics of attendees as well as potential points of contact. Obtain a contact list of identified attendees, if possible. You can also leverage the show’s registration information for opportunities such as sponsorships, show apps, a lead link, or attendee list services.
Define a Qualified Lead
Further down this audience funnel is a lead. It is proven that a tight definition of qualified leads allows trade show managers to focus on fewer, high-quality leads that translate to better closing ratios. Ideally, the definition is either outlined by or explicitly agreed to by the sales team.
Overall, it is less clutter and work when the characteristics of a qualified lead are clearly defined. As the saying goes, work smarter, not harder.
If the targeted attendee is committed to or shows great interest in taking the next steps, then they have likely met the characteristics of a qualified lead. If an individual is not committed, then mark them as “send information only” or “interest only” to continue nurturing that lead until they become a client.
The Sales Team’s Role in Targeted Attendees
Because the sales team plays a great role in closing the deal, they are likely to have the most insight into the identity of the targeted attendee. Therefore, they must be involved in the planning process, not only from defining a qualified lead, but also in discussing budget, defining purchase intent and leading the process to the next essential steps. Without sales team input, the risk is high for the leads to be disregarded completely.
Initial Planning Stages
Once a company has uncovered the target market, it takes preparation and planning to form a relationship, and that begins with well-executed, pre-show marketing strategies.
Event invitations should be sent out to targeted attendees. Promoting and marketing the upcoming event to those who fit the intended audience will raise awareness and increase the number who register to attend the event.
Keep in mind these key steps and find the perfect attendee to target. For help with any of the steps or more information about how to create a successful trade show booth with the right target market in mind, contact Exhibitus.