I can’t believe it. It’s been almost six months since I last wrote a blog about planning ahead for your first B2B trade show. This blog was mainly for people who have never exhibited at a trade show before. But it can also serve as a reminder to people who have.
The latter part of #5 in the blog hits home right now because we have just gotten through a very busy trade show prep season.
Once you have a clear trade show marketing strategy, only then you can start thinking about the next steps. Deciding on where you’re going to exhibit, booth size and designs, supporting materials like literature, giveaways, etc., who will staff the booth–these are just a small handful of details needed to make a successful exhibit.
We provided many of our clients with the ‘”supporting materials” (PR, social media, collateral, graphics, invitations, etc.) they needed for their show. However, no matter how far in advance the process started, unavoidable last-minute stuff cropped up. Late changes, total revamps, additional pieces, a new product launch, and so forth. This can trigger a chain of events that can get out of control like a runaway train — unless someone stays on top of it.
Ensuring Trade Show Prep Stays on Track
It’s especially difficult for marketing managers to keep track of it all. They are the ones that have to answer to different departments within their company. Their sales people, legal, bosses, or someone even higher up in management—who all have different goals. Sometimes, months of work can be derailed because one person suddenly decides they don’t like a design theme that was already put through multiple approval processes.
As you can imagine, this can cause grey hairs to sprout and your blood pressure to rise. You’re at the point where you’re constantly watching the clock and the fast-approaching show date––and still expected to deliver. However, there are ways to lighten the burden of preparing for a trade show. Your marketing department or agency can help you manage the process and get you what you need in time.
Collateral Keeps the Conversation Going
The main purpose of a tradeshow is to generate lucrative and highly-targeted leads, so you can grow your business. Sticking with your brand identity and trade show marketing strategy is extremely important. Make sure all of your collateral, designs, theme, graphics, etc. work together and deliver a consistent message.
Your collateral should keep the conversation going between you and a potential customer. That’s the whole reason you’re attending the trade show in the first place—to make meaningful connections with attendees. And marketing materials like brochures and handouts will continue to provide value to them after they leave. Make sure to obtain all your potential leads’ contact details, so you or your sales team can follow up with them after the show.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Debbie MacKenzie is a 1991 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where she majored in graphic arts production management. Deb cut her professional teeth managing production and customer relations at major printing companies before coming to Schubert b2b 14 years ago. Debbie's a versatile big hitter overseeing all things financial and operational.