One of the best ways to raise awareness for your brand and build business relationships is through business expos. The companies that take advantage of these types of opportunities can accomplish more in a few days that many normal marketing strategies can provide in months.
As an annual participant in the Big Business and Technology Expo at UVU, we have had the opportunities to see what works, and what doesn’t. Any business planning to spend the time and effort to create a professional atmosphere with their booth must plan ahead in order to be successful.
Here are a few things all businesses must do to be successful at any expo.
1. Plan and Approve
The bane of businesses everywhere is wasted time and resources. Hours spent on projects only to have them scrapped later not only uses up valuable employee time but also can be downright frustrating.
Draw up the plans, receive all the necessary approval, and then move forward with confidence.
2. Know Your End Result
Why is your company participating in the expo?
Are you looking for leads? To raise awareness? Or something else?
The employees who will be manning the booth need to know what their goals are. For example, if you want someone to sign up for a free consultation, each conversation needs to be steered in that direction. This isn’t an opportunity to just meet and greet lots of people. Go with a purpose, and a positive result is much more likely.
3. Pre-Expo Marketing Campaign
Your pre-expo strategy should be to get people to look for your company’s display once they’re at the event. Include social media, blog posts, press releases, and messaging your email list.
4. Bribe People to Come
As an expo participant, we were given tickets to hand out. We offered those tickets for free to people who contacted us about them. Plus, the expo itself offered a free lunch to all attendees.
Clearly, the free lunch gimmick made it easy for us to get people to come to the expo. If you’re attending an expo that doesn’t offer something like that for free, the least you can do is give away some tickets, or a small giveaway.
5. Bribe Expo Visitors to Visit Your Booth
Offer a fun little giveaway, and you’ll have people lining up to talk to you.
Our booth presented a spinning wheel which each slot offering a different prize. Other companies gave away goodies for leaving behind a business card, and still others offered drawings for grand prizes (e.g. a Kindle Fire).
By remembering these simple tips, you can turn a time-wasting, money-sucking expo into a fun and profitable event for your company!
What else have you done to create a profitable expo experience? Tell us about it!