“See you at the next trade show” is a common sentiment exchanged throughout wholesale industries, even in the most modern business. Most wholesale businesses consider trade shows to be a large part of their sales and marketing strategies and for good reason. Outside of trade show there is little opportunity to connect to such a large B2B network. In fact, according to Skyline Exhibits, market research found that “the top 3 goals for exhibitors at trade shows are brand awareness, lead generation, and relationship building.” So with those goals in mind, let's explore some strategies that can be used to achieve these goals at each of your upcoming trade shows.
Increase Brand Awareness by Standing Out
Attracting customers to your booth is one of the many reason why wholesale businesses invest in trade shows. In fact, B2B exhibitions were 39.2% of B2B marketing budgets in 2011, according to CEIR. Such a heavy investment means there is a lot of riding on marketing the company at the trade show. With hundreds of other booths competing for attention, effectively marketing for brand awareness is no easy feat.
How do you make your brand memorable and get those customers to stop and chat? Well, first evaluate how your booth looks. Is it clearly branded? Does it capture attention? Are your products properly showcased?
All these factors play an integral role in attracting attention to your booth.Taking a novel approach to displaying products or marketing material will help you cut through noise. Search for interesting trade show exhibits or check out Pinterest for inspiration. Looking like everyone else will do you no favours when seeking new customers. A novel approach to you next tradeshow will definitely turn some heads
Be sure to have your new product prominently displayed in your booth. According to CEIR “92% of trade show attendees say they are looking for new product.” So those new products should be a big part of your marketing strategy.
Capture leads and make sales at lightning speed with mobile technology
Trade shows are short and attendees never seem to have enough time to get all their orders in. The average attendee spends about 8 hours viewing trade show exhibits and they have a lot of ground to cover. Potential leads can come and go in flash so as a business you have very little time get their information. Business cards are still widely used but that information doesn’t ways make into the CRM for various reasons.
Embracing mobile lead capture and sales technology means you can capture leads and make sales reliably and efficiently. Flipping through paper catalogs, price sheets, and order forms is not only inefficient, but this can lead to significant errors that can have a negative impact of your customers experience. This is especially true under the pressure of a trade show environment. Mobile apps like OrderEase’s sales rep app offers both sales reps and customers a better ordering experience that allows everyone to get the most out the tradeshows. In fact, mobile ordering can save anywhere from 30 to 50% of a sales rep’s time when placing customer orders.
Check out what OrderEase’s mobile sale rep app can offer you at your next trade show
Networking with decision makers
Networking is synonymous with trade shows. In the B2B world, opportunities to meet with clients and leads face to face can be few and far between. The long term business value in attending events like conferences and trade shows is evident as you can establish and maintain meaningful business relationships. CEIR states that “46% of trade show attendees are in executive or upper management,” so getting around gatekeepers and speaking directly to decision makers at trade shows represents great opportunities to grow and build your business.
Don’t rely on chance though. Create opportunities for attendees and business leaders to come to you. Some common yet effective networking tactics include holding networking events during the duration of the show or setting up seminars or meetings. Although these strategies seem to be common place, they work and they still have a place in business. Getting the time and attention of those key clients is important, so hosting an interesting event or offering them business value will set you up for success.
Getting the best return on investment out of each trade show requires strategic preparation. Take the time to evaluate your previous methods and try new ideas to drive more sales this upcoming season.
See you at the next trade show!