So: You’ve decided to market your business by taking it to an industry conference or event. This will give you the opportunity to engage with an audience of thousands of industry professionals, which is why it’s important that you make the best impression possible. The whole event is full of prospective customers, so follow these suggestions to ensure you stand out:
How Do You Go About This?
Make sure to invest in good signage for your booth or table.
If your signage is of quality material and content, you can use it over and over again, as long as it remains properly stored. Have your business logo and name prominently displayed, as it will end up being in lots of photos. If you are allowed to have a “step and repeat” at your booth or table, make sure the lighting surrounding it is good. The better people look while standing in front of it, the more people will have it in their background. It makes them look important, and it is an easy way to promote your business.
Bring plenty of business cards.
You may think that stack in your hand is plenty, but it’s not. It’s far better to have extra business cards to pack up at the end of the conference than it is to run out in the middle of the day. The former is only a mild issue, whereas the latter could result in you missing out on a huge networking opportunity. Plus, it makes you look unprofessional to be at an industry event without a business card.
Remember that social media is your friend.
Use various social media platforms (especially Twitter and LinkedIn) to monitor keywords that are related to the event, conference, or trade show that you are attending. Before the event arrives, watch its hashtags and keep abreast of what the reporters, speakers, and sponsors are saying and sharing. Be sure to use your own social media accounts to let everyone know that you will be there. Make sure you tag the event’s social media pages, since this will give additional exposure and increase audience engagement. You can run a promotion in which anyone who re-tweets (#RT) your post will get a special product when they stop by your booth. This will drive up Twitter impressions, Twitter engagements, and get more traffic to your booth or table.
Blog about it.
If your business has a blog (which it really should!) be sure to write up a blog post announcing the fact that you will be at the event. Go over the various aspects you are most looking forward to, and hint at any new products you will be showcasing. For some extra leverage, offer a special to anyone who stops by your booth! All of this will create some pre-conference buzz, which will bring your business into the excitement attendees are feeling before the event hits.
Have plenty of freebies on hand!
Everyone loves freebies, and you can use that to your advantage. At your booth, be sure to hand out some freebies that promote your business. If you’ve ever gone to a convention, conference, trade show, or other such event, you know how expensive the food and beverages are. Again, you can use this to your advantage. Pick up several cases of water before the event, and add a custom logo to the bottles. People will appreciate the free water (it gets hot in that crowd!), and they will be walking around with your business logo and name showing to everyone they pass. Essentially, using a custom water bottle logo turns all the people carrying a bottle into mobile advertisements for your business.
Wrapping It Up.
There are several ways to get your business name out there, and use a local trade show or event to your advantage. By following these methods, you are turning regular networking into a highly effective means of business promotion.
- Invest in great signage and marketing collateral to use again and again.
- Perfect your pitch, and be sure to hand out your business card to everyone you meet.
- Increase your audience exposure by leveraging social media in your favor. Use it to get more profile views and new followers.
- Prominently display your business logo in a creative fashion.