It is widely agreed that face to face marketing is a potent tool in the world of commerce. Nothing substitutes looking someone in the eye and giving them a firm handshake – it makes prospective clients feel more trusting towards you. However, increasingly, a lot of marketing is carried out online in the area of social media. Great gains can be made by connecting with leads via Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn and Google+, all digital mediums with considerable marketing clout – but perhaps the best method currently in operation is a clever combination of the two.
Get in early
If you are able to access the email lists of registrants for the expo event you are attending (and many organisers release this kind of information) then you have the perfect opportunity to catch their attention good and early. Create some punchy, focused emails that outline the benefits of visiting your stand, where you can be found on the expo map (booth number) and you can even suggest setting up appointments. With an early direct digital link to prospective customers you have the ideal conditions for priming them for falling in love with your product.
Showcase and sell more with digital
Have you ever attended an exhibition wishing that you had been able to bring examples of all the things you are selling? Did you want to transport all those heavy catalogues, but just didn’t have the space? Of course you have, but dragging everything along with you to an expo is neither practical or cost effective. It can be frustrating discussing options with clients fired up about your product, if you can’t show them every single version of the complete range you stock. Fortunately, digital offers a solution to this annoying problem. If you have promotional films of your product range in action to show to customers on a tablet device, they can instantly grasp the concept. Most people are familiar and comfortable with using tablet devices, so this makes a quick, user-friendly way around the problem of showcasing everything you do, down to the last detail. Obviously, this will entail considerable preparation in advance of a live exhibition, but once covered, this digital representation of your wares can follow you everywhere. Think of it as a portable digital showroom, always ready and available for viewing. Allowing people to browse your products on a tablet in relaxed fashion or visit your website for further background information enables them to make informed decisions more readily – who knows, you could make a super-quick sale there and then!
As well as the digital side of promotion, keep on top of the physical stand presentation. Stick out from the crowd with a glossy, eye catching set of display boards that support the brand message of your product. Choosing the best design of display boards is a challenge, so take advice from display professionals with years of experience.
At an exhibition, no matter how much advanced marketing you’ve done, it is unlikely that everybody is going to recognise your brand or products. By having a digital presence in the form of a website, possibly with supporting client testimonials and an extensive digital portfolio, you are reinforcing the message that you are a reputable outfit.
One of the real headaches of expos and trade shows is collating all the information and leads for clients. It is essential to follow up leads swiftly after a show, to illustrate your seriousness about securing a deal. Fortunately, digital comes to the rescue again. No longer will you be sifting through sheaves of paper, trying to decipher terrible handwriting and customer details – you can request that they input their data directly into your on-stand tablet or computer. This speeds up and simplifies the whole process, enabling you to focus on getting back to likely leads as early as possible. Look out for specialist lead generation form apps that can absorb all the relevant information, then once you return to the office, downloading it all is a doddle. The post-show campaign to convert all those leads in sales can start so much sooner.
If you have expensive equipment such as tablets and computers on your display stands, that are going to be accessed and used by the public, it is vital to have them fixed down for safety and security reasons. This element should be discussed early on during development meetings with display stand designers.
If your diary is filling up with dates for expos, seriously consider how you can improve your product display stand with improved digital integration. Standing on the sidelines and watching how the digital dynamic unfurls is no longer an option – you have to get involved. And as soon as you do, the benefits will become evident…