You are headed to a trade show to gain more connections, which you’re hoping will translate to more sales and a larger customer base. You’ve scored the custom exhibit that really shows your company’s style, packed up your newly designed posters, banners, and display graphics, and you’re ready to hit the floor. But is all of that enough to reach out to the hundreds of thousands of attendees expected to be wandering the aisles?
More importantly, how are they to know the goings-on in your booth throughout the day? Let’s say you have a special presentation coming up right before noon. Sure, you can talk it up to the visitors to your booth, but will they remember? There are many ways to reach people effectively at a trade show, where you can lose track of time wandering from booth to booth. There are solutions, and they all come in a convenient package that just about everyone is guaranteed to have: their mobile phone.
The Attention Problem
You’ve been to a show before. You know the type of environment people are subjected to. It’s noisy. It’s crowded. It is visually stimulating to the point of sensory overload. It’s like a carnival for grownups. And you’ve seen kids at a carnival – you can’t get them to pay attention to much, because they’re too busy saying, “Oh, look at that over there!” every five seconds. And then when they get to see that exciting thing, they are on to the next thing. They don’t want to miss a thing, and it’s the same with those visiting the trade show. This leads to many people once interested in the keynote speaker you had scheduled missing out. The distraction of the trade show is responsible, not the fact that no one was interested in hearing the speaker.
There has to be an easier way to remind those who express interest so that they don’t get distracted and miss out on your new product presentation or keynote speaker. Have you considered putting SMS marketing to work for you? There are many ways mobile marketing can help, and the attention problem is best solved with a simple SMS message. But don’t think the value stops at reminding people of important events! It can be so much more than that.
The Value Of The SMS Message
The majority, if not everyone in attendance, will have some type of mobile device. But not everyone will have a smartphone. Some might have a company-issued BlackBerry, while others are still toting around their flip phones. While a fancy app is nice, it won’t reach everyone in attendance because not everyone has embraced the smartphone, despite what you might think. To reach the maximum amount of people, set up an area of your booth specifically for people to connect by sending a quick text message.
A great way to do this is to provide a list of keywords that they can text to the SMS number for your company. Have them include their company name in the text as well so that you know who’s connected. It will be something like, “Text ‘keyword your company name’ to 98452 to receive important information and offers via SMS.” This text will include them on a text distribution list related to their interests. Maybe they’re interested in staying connected for special offers. Others might just want to receive information about upcoming products, while some will want to be alerted at the show when your speaker is about to take the stage. That’s the beauty of the SMS marketing campaign – it’s tailored to what your customers want, instead of getting a bunch of stuff they don’t.
One tip: be sure to set up an auto-response text when they do add their name to a SMS message list, which should include a link to your mobile website. You can consider adding a special deal to those who subscribe via SMS, advertise special contests, and even offer special deals for those who stop by your trade show booth to subscribe.
Other Helpful Mobile Strategies
Of course, while you should definitely add the SMS strategy, there are other ways to reach people with their phones. Those with smartphones or feature phones will be able to access a mobile website, so this is an important thing to have. If you don’t have a website designed exclusively for mobile devices, you’re missing out. Have you navigated a typical web page on your mobile device? It’s not as easy as the mobile-specific apps that take screen size and navigation into consideration. People don’t want to zoom in to read text, they want it pre-formatted with easy-to-tap links and other features, like mobile-friendly forms, videos, and even a way to shop your online store using their mobile device. Some potential customers might be turned off if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, moving on to find a company that is more in tune with the times.
The last mobile marketing strategy we will talk about is the QR code. People love this, and you can choose to incorporate it in a variety of ways. Have a QR code printed on your business cards that brings people to your website or a video on your YouTube channel. Have it on all of your handouts, and don’t forget the banner.
Mobile marketing is an effective way to reach the most people possible. These days, people are looking for quick and easy, and giving them a way to reach out to your company no matter how busy their lives are puts you a step above the businesses that don’t. If you aren’t putting mobile marketing to use, you are missing out!
Do you have any tips on effective ways to put mobile technology to use at the trade show? We’d love to hear about it!