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Why Defining Your Goals Pre-Show Matters

Marketing has a purpose. That purpose isn’t to attract as much attention as possible – not at the start, anyway. That purpose is, instead, to help a company attain a specific goal. Before you design any trade show exhibits, consider guerilla-marketing tactics, or hire any salespeople, you have to have a specific pre-show goal.

Those goals can be as follows:

• Generate leads
• Draw awareness
• Engage potential clients

The goal that you choose will determine the marketing tactics that you use – not the other way around. If you do things in reverse, it’s like letting potential customers slip through a sieve.

Goal: Drawing Awareness

Awareness is the goal you want to set if you are:

• Launching a new company
• Launching a new product
• Introducing a new service

You want to make people aware that your product, service, or company exists. It’s always nice to capture leads through an awareness campaign with trade show exhibits, but that’s just icing on the cake. The goal should be on awareness at all times.

Marketing tactics that work well with an awareness goal include:

• Information: posters, signs, etc.
• Education: handouts, take-home samples, etc.
• Small and fun entertainment setups: carnival-esque entertainment to capture attention.

Goal: Lead Generation

When your main goal is to generate leads, people should already be somewhat familiar or aware of your product or service. Example tradeshow attendee conversation: “Oh! Look! It’scompany ‘XYZ.’ I’ve heard of them, let’s go see what they actually do.” People have heard of you somehow, and now they want you to demonstrate what it is that you’re good at – they’re ready to sign-up or show up if you have the right plan in place.

Marketing tactics that work well with a lead generation goal include:

• Customized items or a personalized demonstration.
• Free service or sign-up.
• Big entertainment scheme: celebrities, food, drinks – something that you will spend a
large part of your marketing budget on.

Goal: Simple Engagement

So, now you’ve got some awareness and maybe some leads (though this goal can certainly follow the awareness goal too), but you’d like the engagement to be at a higher level. Maybe people have walked past your booth before, but they haven’t actually stopped and talked to your sale steam, or maybe they just aren’t signing up for something. Your goal is to get those people engaged, and that means having some fun.

Marketing tactics that work well with the goal of simple engagement:

• Gameshow setups
• Raffles
• Drawings
• Giveaways

Ask people to sign up or do something (it’s more fun if you get them to actually participate in something fun!) for a free gift or a raffle. When people are bored at a tradeshow, they are more than willing to step into a tent that’s fun for a change, and you’ll get information and some interest.

Combining Tactics

Can you aim for engagement and awareness? Sure; but one goal should always be more important, and it’s best to aim for one goal. Why? Because it’s easier to train a sales team when there’s only one goal in mind – and that will bring us to the next blog post to follow this one, so check back for information about how to train your team based on the goals that you set (very important!).

Making it All Happen

Where can you get a booth that engages, combines fun entertainment tactics, involves interactive displays, logos, creative signs, and everything else that you will need to make sure that yourcompany stands out at the upcoming show? Right here! Blazer Exhibits crafts personalized, customized, high quality trade show exhibits, custom displays, booths, counters, mini-living rooms – whatever you have in mind.

Tradeshows are crazy places full of people trying to stand out, but very few of those people actually have a marketing goal in place. When you spend a ton of money trying to attract attention but your team doesn’t know what to do with all that attention, you are wasting both time and funds. Marketing dollars are precious, so make sure that you have a clear and understood goal in place well before your event even happens, and run through that plan a few times before you get to the show. Trust us, goals matter! Call us today for a custom display.

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