Your event budget has to cover a gamut of necessary items from trade show booth design, to graphic displays, to giveaways, and much more. So how do you know you’re making the most of your budget and spending the company’s dollars wisely? Here’s a timeline of activities to keep in mind to ensure you’re making the most of resources you have been allocated.
What to Do Prior to the Trade Show
Determine Goals and Metrics
One of the most important steps you can take as an exhibit manager is determining the goals for the show. Not only should they be measurable, but they should also be realistic. Set goals for the number of in-booth engagements with targeted attendees, as well as the number of follow-up activities, such as leads to pass to Sales or contacts to add to your marketing database. Without this foundation, it will be difficult to know if your show was successful.
Identify Your Trade Show Target Audience
Once your goals have been determined and agreed to by stakeholders, , categorize your prospects into priority and type. Answer questions like, “Who is the ideal customer? What are their pain points? How do we solve them?” These answers will inform booth staff on how to engage each type of visitor they encounter.
Social media, a blog, and your company website are the perfect places for free publicity and to boost awareness about the event. Write social media posts that include the event’s hashtag, and encourage prospects to visit your booth or attend your speakers’ sessions. In the events section on your site, list details of your sessions and booth location.
What to Do During the Trade Show
Continue the Social Buzz
You hyped up your audience before the show, and it’s just as important to stay relevant once it begins. Consider some of these social strategies that are (mostly) free:
- Using the event hashtag
- Livestreaming from your booth or speaking engagements
- Taking and sharing pictures and tagging people in them
- Creating event-specific, social-media-only contests to draw visitors to your exhibit and win prizes
Capture Leads with Event Management Software
Once you’ve identified your event goals, do you know how you’ll measure them? Using an event management platform that utilizes visitors badges and bar codes is one of the easiest ways to do so. Although these cost money, the investment is worth it. Such technology makes it easier than ever to capture visitor information and schedule follow ups with both prospects and customers.
After the Trade Show Closes
Follow Up with Leads
What good is it to capture lead information if no one follows up with them? Have sales representatives make personal phone calls and/or send emails to relevant prospects. It’s likely that they were considering your product or service at the trade show, so scheduling a demo or appointment is the best next step for them.
Stay in Touch
The relationship should not begin and end with a follow-up phone call. Provide materials for your sales representatives to send valuable content that helps further their relationship. Don’t have a budget for new assets? Repurpose content like video, slide decks, blogs, and webinars to help push them further down the sales funnel.
Making the most of your trade show budget is no easy feat, which is why we’ve created the Results Division at Exhibitus. Our services focus on measurement, justification, and ongoing optimization for the best possible ROI for your events. Contact us today to learn more about our trade show design capabilities and our Results Division offerings.