Effective Trade Shows Begin Online

July 7th, 2010

Trade Show Exhibit Hall

The Summer trade show season is underway and Fall trade shows and campus recruiting events are fast approaching.  In this issue, we look at ways to integrate your website and other online marketing initiatives to maximize your investment in trade shows and campus recruiting.

Give Them a Place to Land
The first step to integrating your website into your trade show and recruiting events is to build a unique event-related landing page. If you are a SiteNow user, this is an easy task. Just create a subsection for your trade shows and create documents (web pages) for each show or event you will be attending. To enhance the user experience, consider adding some personalization to each page.  
  • Images or logos from the event
  • Map of University or event location
  • Information about your products or services that are relevant to show attendees
  • Contact or information request forms
  • Videos or photo albums of your products or service
  • Downloads of industry specific brochures
  • Booth # or show schedule
  • List of alum currently employed at your organization
  • Interview schedule
  • Downloads of company information, employee benefits, etc.
Don't forget to use the Easy URL tool in SiteNow to create a unique address for your landing page that's easy to remember (i.e. yourcompany.com/tradeshow) and publish the address on all the materials you take to the show.

Never Meet a Stranger
If you have access to the list of show attendees or students who will be attending your event, consider an email marketing campaign a few weeks before the show. Use an email service provider like Constant Contact or MailChimp to send emails that offer information about your company and an invitation to your booth. Sophisticated campaign management tools like Visual Hub from Williams Visual Solutions also offer the ability to combine print and email announcements before the show and SMS text message reminders the day of the show.  

If you provide incentives giveaways at your booth, email communication before the show is a great way to alert attendees to your giveaways and door prizes. Make sure to include links to your new landing page in your email communications.


Show Them How It's Done
Product demos can make a tremendous impact at trade shows. However, if you have limited booth space, or if the demo requires audio to be effective, your demo may miss its mark. Additionally, some product demonstrations may be impractical in an exhibit hall, such as manufacturing equipment demos. In these instances, posting your demonstrations on your custom landing page is a great alternative. If you are a software vendor, record tutorials using a screen capture utility such as iShowU or Camtasia. Grab a video camera and record footage of your product in action. If you have the budget, consider using a professional videographer. If not, just light your product well and keep the camera steady. Upload the video to YouTube and embed the video on your landing page(s).  

Stay in Touch
Make sure you capture prospect data at every opportunity. On your landing pages, include a form to collect names and email addresses for updates on new products or future trade shows. You can also capture marketing data about your prospects, such as the time frame for a purchasing decision, industry information, knowledge of your brand, etc. For campus recruiting events, these forms can collect information about graduation dates, preferred relocation choices, and more.  

Don't forget to capture data at the trade show or recruiting event as well. Set up a computer at your booth with your website in fullscreen or kiosk mode and allow visitors to sign up for your email newsletters. If you use MailChimp for your email newsletters, there is a great kiosk style app called Chimpadeedoo for the Apple iPad that collects email addresses and sends them straight to your MailChimp distribution list. At the very least, bring along a pen and a clip board and collect names and email addresses for future followup.
Posted by Sermon Access | Topic: Strategic Marketing

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