You are so ready. With a killer exhibit design compliments of Blazer Exhibits, you feel ready to rock your next trade show. But even the best design in the world won’t guarantee you’ll get relevant traffic. Because really, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get, but how many substantial leads come from that traffic.
For a solid strategy to draw those leads to your booth, here are some things you can do:
Free Wi-Fi. Sure, the venue might offer free Wi-Fi to its guests and exhibitors, but what good is it if pages are in a constant state of “loading” thanks to a high volume of users? Set your booth apart from the rest by offering visitors to your booth exhibit free Wi-Fi access. The catch: they can’t obtain the password without first providing an email address to add to your company’s contacts! A bonus idea – include a charging station. Not only will it make for some happy visitors, they’ll be at your booth for a while, giving you the opportunity to discuss your business with them.
Bring A Charity Into The Mix. Proudly and prominently advertise that you plan to donate to charity for each visitor, and you’ll find the visitors rolling in. You can even set specific amounts for certain actions – a dollar for each visitor, and double that for visitors that leave a business card. You’re putting your company into a positive light, setting yourself apart from the others in a meaningful way visitors will appreciate. If you can select a charity that somehow aligns itself with your brand or industry, it becomes even more powerful.
Hand Out Crucial Information. People love things that are free. Even better is when those free things contain crucial industry information they just can’t live without. Did your company author a useful white paper? Did you conduct a survey that reveals interesting data regarding trends? Offer this information, whether in the form of a handout or a link to a download when someone provides their email address, and people will flock to your booth.
Costumed Crusader. Yes, you’re all grown adults, but there’s just something about a mascot that brings in a crowd. It’s not just for little kids! Be sure that the person you select to be this mascot is outgoing. They can hang out by your brand’s booth, or wander the entire trade show floor displaying your brand logo prominently on their costume. They can hand out flyers to direct people to your booth, offering coupons or other useful information. Another great idea, thanks to the popularity of smartphone apps like Instagram, is to encourage attendees to get their picture taken with the mascot. Then, they can upload it to Instagram using a specific hashtag, like #yourbusinessnametradeshow2014, to give your company even more worldwide exposure!
Social Media Contest. In the weeks leading up to the trade show, put your social media sites to use to advertise a contest. The sky is really the limit for this. It can be like the contest explained above, where attendees take pictures at your booth and post on Instagram with a certain hashtag. You can give away a product or service that is going to be showcased at the trade show, where people can enter prior to the event and earn an extra entry if they visit your booth and leave their contact information. Put your Twitter account to use and ask that visitors to your booth tweet with your company name and something they are excited for that they saw at your booth, which enters them into a contest to win that product or service.
Get Hands-On. Of course, this can’t be done with any industry out there. If you are in the craft industry, offer stations people can actually sit down to use your new products, and show them handy tips for their use. If you are in the bridal industry, set up an area for brides to try out different makeup styles or hairdos. If you are at a technology expo, provide your exciting new product for people to interact with. People don’t want to just wander around looking at stuff. They want to engage!
Schedule Talks Throughout The Day. If your company is considered a highly respected authority within your industry, you might consider having one of your employees give live talks regarding the hot-topic-of-the-moment. Keep them short – 10 to 15 minutes at most – and provide a schedule to visitors. Try to do one talk an hour if you can, increasing the number of people that are able to attend. Not only does it keep people coming back to your booth and bringing others, when the talk is going on, more people will gather to see what is going on.
Give Deals Before The Show. If you really want to draw people in, offer your existing customers special coupons for your products and services prior to the big show, for use only at the trade show. They have to redeem them at the booth. What’s more, get them to spread the word to their friends and family – encourage this by offering the customer a special prize for each person they refer to the booth.
Provide Sneak-Peeks. If you really want to lure people to your booth, put your YouTube channel and social media sites to good use. Showcase a new product each week and all relevant information on that product, or just a function of that product, to get people excited about what they’re going to see at the trade show.
Reach Out. The best way to determine what your customers want: ask them! Whether a special email blast or a quick question on your company’s Facebook page, this is probably the best way to get people to flood your booth. Ask them what they’d like to see offered at the trade show, and they will let you know. Knowing you care what they think will raise your company up a few notches, and might be just what they need to be convinced to attend.
Do you have any interesting strategies for increasing traffic at your trade show booth? We’d love to hear them!