You've marked your calendar for your upcoming trade show, and you're prepared with an eye-catching booth, impactful presentations, and a motivated team. Still, to ensure a successful outcome, your efforts need to extend beyond the exhibition grounds and into comprehensive pre-show promotion. By strategically building anticipation and using a range of promotional tactics, you can attract the right attendees, make an early start on your lead generation, and maximize your return on investment in the event. This is why we have put together the ultimate guide to acing your pre-show exhibition strategy.
why do pre-show marketing?
The reasons for investing time and resources into pre-show exhibition promotion are numerous. By creating buzz around your participation, you're effectively boosting your booth traffic ahead of the event, and consequently, maximizing your opportunities for new leads or sales. It's an opportunity to establish early relationships with potential clients, and re-establish connections with former ones. You're also gaining an edge over your competitors, and we all know trade shows are a minefield of competition.
Equally critical, pre-show promotions provide a channel for you to share essential details about your booth, such as its location, demonstrations or presentations scheduled, freebies, etc. This is likely to increase your visitor numbers and engagement with your brand on the day.
Your step-by-step pre-show exhibition strategy
This comprehensive guide walks you through the entire pre-show promotion timeline, ensuring that no stone is left unturned in executing an effective promotional strategy.
1. set clear goals and identify your taregt audience
Every successful marketing action begins with a clear understanding of the goals and the audience it serves. Be specific in your objectives for the event—whether it's to capture a certain number of leads, introduce a new product, or close specific sales. While identifying your audience, ensure you're clear on who they are, what they want, and what would excite them about your trade show.
2. create an event landing page
Create a dedicated landing page on your website for all event-related information. It should detail your exhibition and offer visitor incentives like an exclusive download or a contest entry. Remember to include event details and an interactive map for your booth location. An optimized landing page adds immense value to your SEO efforts and provides a reference point for your entire pre-event marketing strategy.
crafting a high converting landing page
Creating a powerful and high-converting event landing page is a critical part of event marketing. The primary goal is to attract attendees to sign up or register for the event. To accomplish this, your landing page should be compelling, visually appealing, informative, and easy to navigate. Below are some top tips to optimize your event landing page for better conversion.
attention grabbing headline
The first element a visitor should see on your landing page is a compelling headline. It needs to clearly state what the event is about and must be catchy enough to hold the visitor's attention and entice them to learn more.
inspiring event description
List the benefits of attending the event. Explain what attendees will learn or gain, who the guest speakers are, and why they shouldn't miss this opportunity. The description needs to inspire and convince the visitor that attending the event is worthwhile.
effective call-to-action (cta)
A clear and bold CTA button is crucial for conversions. Whether it’s "Register Now," "Book Your Seat," or "Sign Up," make sure your CTA stands out, uses action-oriented language, and is placed prominently on the page.
use high-quality visuals
Images or videos can enhance the appeal of your landing page. They can help convey the vibe of the event, highlight past events (if applicable), or introduce speakers. Make sure the visuals are high quality and relevant to the event.
show event schedule
A complete schedule or agenda of the event activities helps potential attendees see the value you're offering. It informs visitors about what they can expect, including keynote speeches, breakout sessions, panels, networking opportunities, etc.
testimonials and reviews
If you've held previous events, including testimonials or reviews can work to your advantage. Positive feedback from past attendees acts as a form of social proof, giving potential attendees reassurance about the value of your event.
use social proof
You can enhance credibility further by showcasing well-known collaborators, sponsors, or speakers associated with the event. Logos, profile photos, or quotes can be effective in leveraging social proof.
easy registration process
The registration process should be straightforward and quick. Too many fields or complex steps can deter potential attendees. If possible, limit it to necessary information like name, contact info, and payment details (if applicable).
Ensure your landing page looks and functions well on mobile devices. A significant amount of web traffic comes from mobile users, so a mobile-optimized event landing page is essential.
Make sure your landing page is SEO friendly to increase its visibility on search engines. Use relevant keywords in your title tag, meta description, and throughout the page content.
track and test
Finally, use analytics to track the performance of your landing page. Look at conversion rates, bounce rates, time spent on the page, etc. Test different elements (like CTA, visuals, headlines) to see what yields the best result.
These tips should guide you towards crafting an event landing page that not only attracts but also convinces visitors to become attendees, leading to a high-converting landing page. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create a simple but highly strategic page that efficiently communicates all the pertinent details, making registration an easy decision for the visitor.
3. leverage digital marketing channels
Harness the power of social media to create excitement around your participation. Share images of preparations, short teaser clips about product demonstrations, successful stories from past events, or even spotlight members of your event team. Initiate a unique event hashtag to drive conversation and engage with followers.
Consider an email marketing campaign too. Regularly bring your event to the inboxes of clients, leads and industry influencers, providing fresh details on your exhibit as the event date approaches.
4. utilise direct mail and print media
Although digital marketing reigns supreme, there's immense value in tangible promotion. A direct mail piece or print media ad facilitates a personal touch. Send out unique, branded invites with details about your exhibition, and perhaps include an incentive to bring along the invite to your booth.
5. capitalise on pr opportunities
Press releases to local and industry-specific outlets about your participation in the exhibition can be highly beneficial. They not only improve your visibility, but also add a degree of credibility, enhancing your brand in the eyes of potential attendees.
Think about partnering with fellow exhibitors. A partnered webinar, blog post, or social media campaign can culminate in mutually beneficial exposure. It's a cost-effective way to promote your exhibit and widen your reach, particularly if you're targeting a similar audience group.
In the competitive landscape of trade shows and exhibitions, successful companies are often those who think outside of the box. One such tactic is collaborating with other exhibitors in promotional activities leading up to the event. While it might sound counterintuitive to join forces with other exhibits at first, the benefits of such collaborations are manifold and can significantly impact your stand's visibility and success. Below are some compelling reasons to collaborate with fellow exhibitors.
doubling the reach
By promoting your stand alongside a fellow exhibitor, you're effectively doubling your pre-show promotional reach. Both companies can leverage their social media channels, email lists, and other networks to spread the word. This expands the visibility for your exhibit and can attract attendees who might not have discovered your stand otherwise.
Associating with other industry professionals or respected brands can boost your credibility. Potential attendees view these collaborations as endorsements, which can influence their decision to visit your stand during the exhibition.
access to resources
Collaboration often means sharing resources. This could include promotional materials, marketing expertise, and distribution channels, which can lead to more polished and effective promotional efforts. It can also help lower the overall cost of pre-show marketing.
When you collaborate, you have a unique chance to offer enriched content that stands out. This could involve joint blog posts, webinars, or social media live events. Such cooperation allows both parties to showcase their industry knowledge and builds anticipation for potential attendees.
Working together enhances learning for both parties involved. You can gain insights into how your partner runs their promotional campaigns, learn about different marketing tools or strategies they use, and vice versa.
better booth traffic management
At the show, having a partner can help manage booth traffic more effectively. For instance, if one booth is overcrowded, visitors can be directed towards the partner booth, ensuring a smooth attendee experience for both exhibitors.
The collaboration needn't end with the exhibition. By establishing a relationship with fellow exhibitors, both sides pave the way for future partnerships, joint events, or co-marketing initiatives.
Keep in mind that the key to a successful collaboration is finding the right partner. Not all fellow exhibitors will be a good fit. It's important to find an exhibitor whose offering complements yours, shares your target audience but is not in direct competition with your brand. When done right, such strategic alliances can greatly enhance your exhibition's outreach, effectiveness, and overall success.
7. pre-schedule appointments
Offer your key prospects the opportunity to pre-schedule a meeting, product demonstration or private reception. This facilitates purposeful interaction, makes your audience feel important, and establishes connections before the event, further stimulating booth traffic.
8. review and refine
Monitor your promotional efforts closely. Which posts or emails are getting the most engagement? Which efforts seem futile? Making data-backed adjustments ensures you're communicating effectively with your target audience, maximizing your pre-event marketing endeavours.
In conclusion, your pre-show promotion can be the deciding factor for the success of your event. Although it requires careful planning and execution, the efforts often generate rewarding dividends in terms of booth traffic, lead generation, connections, and brand visibility. With a winning strategy and a little initiative, your exhibition can make an undeniable impact, even before the actual event takes place.
want to use a pre-exhibition marketing company?
By incorporating the skills and knowledge of a professional event marketing company, you can elevate your pre-exhibition promotion and ultimately boost the impact and success of your event. Harness the power of these seasoned experts and bring your exhibition to the forefront, ensuring it becomes an unforgettable experience.