One never knows what they will see at a convention. Businesses use a variety of ways to attract visitors to their site, from costumes and clowns to beautiful women handing out marketing materials. However, do these methods actually work? Many experts feel they do not and provide a dismal return on the company’s investment. Nevertheless, convention participants cannot rely on random booth traffic either. Fortunately, there are measures an organization may take to ensure they attract attention in a crowded venue without resorting to gimmicks such as these. Following are a few of these measures.
Connect With Potential Visitors Before the Event
Pre-show outreach remains essential when an organization is attempting to boost booth traffic. In fact, business consultants and experts who regularly deal with trade shows state approximately 70 percent of those attending the event determine which booths to visit before they arrive at the venue. For this reason, every company needs to let visitors know they will be present and should stop by to see what the business offers.
Use email to generate interest in the convention. Not only does it help to get the attendee’s attention before the event is held, but it also encourages them to include the booth on their list of ones not to miss on the big day. This is an easy and effective way to reach large groups of potential attendees, but it is not the only method that may be used.
Follow up with snail mail. People often assume men and women no longer look at the mail they receive unless they are expecting something. However, this is not the case. To truly draw the viewer’s eye, design a postcard in an unusual shape that reflects what the business has to offer. They will take notice of this unusual piece of mail and remember the business when planning which booths to visit.
Conduct a survey before the event. This helps to determine what attendees are looking for when at the venue. By doing so, a business finds they can better meet the needs of those who pay them a visit. In fact, a business might find the trade booth organizers have overlooked something and can include it before the event occurs.
Social media is another great way to get the word out about a company’s participation in a conference. The power of these networks should never be discounted, as large amounts of people can be contacted with one post. Don’t hesitate to offer an incentive to those who stop by the booth and mention they saw a social media post. This helps to generate excitement and boost interest.
The Day of the Convention
First and foremost, consider the location when designing the booth and planning a strategy for the day. For example, individuals in Cincinnati may wish to carry on a conversation that lasts for 15 minutes or more. They are used to a slower pace in the business world. In contrast, when taking part in a convention being held in Las Vegas or New York, try to fit all information in within a shorter time period. People in these cities are used to a faster pace and don’t want to waste time when they could be visiting other booths or engaging in other activities. Take into account the unique needs of those who may be attending, as location does matter at times such as these.
Offer to take part in a panel discussion or give a speech during the event. Participants who wish to obtain more information following this portion of the convention may then stop by the booth for further conversation. Share this information when contacting potential attendees before the event so they know where to find you at the convention.
Use video to engage booth visitors if staff members are tied up with other guests. This ensures the visitor does not become bored and move on to another booth while waiting to speak to an employee. Free food is another great way to accomplish this goal, and don’t hesitate to make use of interactives to keep them busy until they can be helped.
Make certain employees manning the booth are knowledgeable and interact well with others. These men and women represent the company. Make certain they do so in a positive way for the best results.
Finally, connect with individuals through social media during the event. Share a post about a finalized sale or talk about something big that is happening at that particular time. People will often see one of these posts and head to the booth to be part of the action. Take advantage of this and post early and often throughout the day.
Following the Convention
Don’t walk away from the convention and assume the work is done. Follow up with those who stopped by the booth. This may be done by sending a thank you email or it might involve sending out a survey to obtain feedback on how the company did. In addition, post on social media about the event and how it went to generate interest in future events the company will be taking part in. Be sure to include this information in the post if the company has one or more events already in the works. This allows people to put these dates in their calendar right away to ensure they are free on those days.
The survey is a great tool to improve the company’s offerings for future events. Ask what visitors loved about the booth and what they feel needs to be changed for future events. Men and women love giving feedback, as it shows their opinion is valued, and companies can learn a great deal from these surveys. The survey provides information about what the visitors want and need when they visit a booth, making it easier to provide exactly this at future events.
By taking the time to focus on the three aspects of the trade show-before, during, and after- companies find they obtain a better return on their investment. They gain a greater understanding of what works and what does not and may use this information to improve booth traffic even more in the future. More people stopping by to learn more about the company is always a good thing.
Christian has over five years of professional event marketing experience. He has handled everything from on-site labor supervision to managing exhibit design projects in-house. He also enjoys rock climbing and any other outdoor activities. He is a critical thinker who is constantly challenging the status quo.