Category Archives: Trade Shows

Trade Show Ideas and Tips

Do You Really Know Why You Are Exhibiting At Your Largest Trade Shows?

Do You Have Clearly Defined Reasons for Exhibiting at Your Major Trade Shows and Conventions?

trade show marketing ideas

Austin, Texas: We work daily with clients that are looking for cool promotional swag for their up-coming trade shows.

Some have really clearly defined ideas and goals for their shows. They have done pre-show marketing and have targeted specific clients that they will be targeting during this trade show extravaganza.

Others are just hoping enough “qualified” and “warm” leads to just walk into their booth — without taking any pre-show marketing steps.

Most of these folks are disappointed with the trade show results…and rightfully so.  After all, how can you gauge the measure of a trade show without having a clearly defined goal ahead of time?

Before exhibiting at another trade show, take some time and ask yourself: What are the top 3 reasons you are exhibiting at a specific trade show – and what steps do you need to do ahead of time to reach those goals?

Too many companies exhibit at trade shows without setting up goals and objectives.  Some exhibit at trade shows just because they’ve done so for decades without re-thinking if that strategy is still sound.

Perhaps a different trade show has come along that better suits your new goals and strategies?  You won’t know if you don’t spend time ahead of time targeting your audience.

Is your booth size still correct? Maybe you need a larger booth or different configuration at the show.  Maybe a corner booth would do better than an inline booth. Maybe your booth size is perfect.  But  have you thought about it lately?

Who are the Top 15 clients or prospects that you are looking to speak to or to demonstrate to?  Have you invited them to your booth? Do you have appointment times with them?

Do all of your trade show personnel understand your goals and objectives? Are they trained properly on expectations? Do they know who you have pre-invited and how to handle them as they come into your booth? Do you have sufficient staff at peak hours?

How are you marking and taking notes on prospects’ questions and concerns for follow-up?   Do you have a paper pad that you can attach their business cards to with room to write down notes?  Are you doing the same thing–only digitally?  Or are you planning to remember everything that happened at the show–or jot some illegible notes on the back of a prospects cards–regardless of whether the handwriting adheres to the cards?

Trade shows can offer fantastic returns on your marketing investment if done properly.  You have a chance to “press the flesh” with clients and prospects and meet with other industry professionals.

With a little more pre-planning, you can maximize the success of your trade show dollars – and reach a higher level of sales.
Happy Promoting!


Monthly Newsletter

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Q&A: Do I Need to Give a Promotional Product To Everyone That Comes By Our Booth at a Trade Show?

Should Everyone That Comes By Your Booth at a Convention or Trade Show Get a Promotional Product?

p[romotional-gifts-for-trade-shows

Austin, Texas: I get this question a great deal about trade show marketing: Do I Need to Give a Promotional Product To Everyone That Comes By Our Booth at a Trade Show?

Short Answer: Not necessarily!

Long Answer: See below:

Before you exhibit at a trade show, you first need to think about your target audience.

Then, decide on your objective when meeting this type of client or buyer.

After qualifying someone that walks into your booth, decide if they are a potential hot lead, warm lead, cold lead or not at all your type of prospect.

Remember, not all trade show attendees are equal in terms of purchasing potential so why treat them all the same.

If you have a dump bin in front of your booth with low cost promotional items, you will be attracting everyone and anyone–most of whom will most likely be cold or non-leads.

What a waste of time and money!

I suggest having three types of promotional products or swag in your booth- but not necessarily on display.

1) Top Tier Gifts: Reserve these for existing clients, hot leads and invited guests.  It is always wise to do a pre-show mailing to select clients.  These top tier gifts can easily be $25-$50 or more– as you are trying to make a lasting impression and/or thank these people for past business or stopping by.  Some of the most popular Top Tier gifts have been high end imprinted power chargers, promotional selfie sticks, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, debossed padfolios and imprinted computer backpacks.

This is not the area to cut your budget on.

2) Mid-Level Gifts: These are for warm prospects that have shown a certain level of interest and have possibly scheduled a follow up call or visit in the coming weeks.

For these clients, depending on the profit margin of your product or service, we have seen such promotional products as  imprinted phone chargers, logo stainless steel water bottles, and journal books.

These promotional products should be of substantial quality ad they will be used and displayed by these prospects while you are trying to follow up.

3) Lower Level Gifts: For this category, there is the most debate as to what constitutes a recipient of this promotional gift group category.

If you have a dump bin, you pretty much have to give something to everyone–so make it nice but inexpensive–like a promotional stylus pen or microfiber cloth with your logo.

My suggestion is to try to keep these Tier 3 promotional gifts behind a pedestal or counter to make it less obvious and to not create a circus atmosphere.

If someone asks for a Tier 3 gift for themselves (and of course, for their mother), you will most likely want to make them happy by handing them the promotional gifts as you gently escort them out of your booth.

We have found that non-prospects seem to take up the most time from newbie salespeople, as they often act interested just to get your swag freebie. For them a firm handshake, a smile, and a “thank you for stopping by” as you hand them your promotional gift and lead them out of your trade show booth works wonders.

Don’t let your booth fill up with non-buyers and freebie-hounds.  Get them outside of your booth with the greatest of ease with Tier 3 promotional gifts, and keep your booth filled with actual prospects and buyers.

I suggest in terms of dollar spend, you budget 30% for Top Tier Gifts, 50% of your budget for mid-level gifts and 20% of your budget for Tier 3 gifts.  Your quantities will be much lower for Top Tier gifts and the promotional gifts should be much nicer. For Tier 3, don’t sacrifice on quality but definitely limit your budget to about $1 or so–max.

By  narrowly defining your target audience at your trade show or convention, you can quickly categorize the type of attendee that walks into your booth.

Make it memorable.

Make the gift useful so it will be used over and over again.

Keep it small and not too heavy.

Have fun.

Happy promoting!

Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

5 Tips on How to Choose the Best Promotional Product for Your Next Trade Show

Which is the Right Promotional Product for Your Upcoming Trade Show or Convention?

choosing the best trade show promotional gifts

Austin, Texas: One of the most frequently asked questions we get is: ” Which Promotional Product Should I pick for My Upcoming Trade Show?”

Unfortunately, there is not one perfect promotional product for every trade show.  If there was, we would just offer that item and life would be simple.

However, here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before selecting your promotional products for your upcoming trade show or conference:

1) Who is Your Target Audience?

The key to choosing the right promotional product for your event is to visualize the end user that you are trying to attract into your booth and what might make them tick.

Remember to think about the ideal person you want to stop by your booth.  If the answer is everyone, then spend more time to really re-think it.

Not everyone who attends a trade show is the right prospect for you.

Once you narrow down your core target audience, then think about the potential lifetime value from that potential customer.

If you think a $2 imprinted pen is the right gift for a buyer with $100,000 in lifetime value, then you should probably reconsider.

You are not trying to buy their business with your choice of promotional gift, but you are trying to me memorable and impactful.

2) Where is the Prospect in the Buying Cycle?

I have many clients that choose the promotional gift based on where they are in the buying cycle.   Since not every prospect is created equally, why should their promotional gift be the same?

Some prospects may be only in the information gathering phase. Others may be much closer to purchasing.

It is wise to have different tiers or levels of promotional product gifts to reward–depending on where they are in the buying cycle.

3) How Will You  Be Presenting Your Promotional Product Gift?

Noticed that I said “presenting” rather than “leaving in a pile on your table” or “handing out indiscriminately”.

A promotional product in an attractive gift box, when presented to the recipient has a lot higher perceived value than a more expensive gift tossed or handed out like candy.

Think about your presentation.

4) What is the Optimal Size And Weight of your Promotional Product?

I have seen people place $25 laser pointer pens inside recipients’ giant stuffed tote bags  — so that  it falls to the bottom–maybe never to be seen again.

On the other hand, I have seen companies give away heavy glass jars of salsa, large wooden yardsticks and other items that nobody will want to carry around all day or that will never be taken back onto the plane with them.

Size and weight really do matter when choosing your promotional products for trade shows.

5) What does the prospect have to do in order to get the promotional product?

Trade shows are the perfect vehicle for surveys, questionnaires or short meetings.  If you are asking the prospect to spend time answering questions, then the reward must be significantly higher than if you were to reward anyone that stops by to say hello.

You can even put up a full color graphic that says : FREE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER FOR ANSWERING OUR SHORT SURVEY to get more people to answer your questions.

But only reward those that you quickly pre-qualify and that answer your survey or interview questions.

And have a smaller consolation prize for those that do not qualify.

These 5 quick questions can help you to narrow down the best promotional gift for your needs.

Then talk to a promotional products specialist that understands trade show marketing to come up with the optimal gift for your trade show that can yield the highest return on investment.

 Because, at the end of the day, all marketing should have an ROI to it.
Happy Promoting!

Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Getting the Most ROI From Your Promotional Power Chargers for Trade Shows

Are You Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck From Your Promotional Power Chargers?

imprinted power chargers for trade shows and conferences

Austin, Texas: Promotional power chargers (or power sticks; power banks; external battery chargers) have been one of the most popular items for trade shows and conferences over the past 18 months or so.

Why are they so popular?  IPads and iPhones are constantly running out of battery power as people are on their devices more than ever before.

So how can you maximize the effectiveness of your free promotional power charger at these trade shows and avents?

I suggest a mutl-pronged approach.

First, promote “Free Power Chargers “and a “Free Charging Station” at your booth.  

It works!  It increases traffic exponentially and gives you time to talk to, and to qualify, your booth traffic.

Be sure to have a lot of outlets and sufficient amperage at your booth to have dozens of people at your booth at any one time.

Let people charge their own devices and pre-charge the promotional power chargers that you are handing out.  Bottom line–when people need battery power, they need it NOW!

Have promotional power chargers in two or three price points -depending on the quality of the lead.

Basic 2200 mAh promotional power chargers for most any smartphone is more than sufficient for the bulk of your trade show attendees.

Then have 5000+ mAh promotional power chargers for your top clients and prospects.  These will power most iPads and tablets–as well as a smartphone–giving your recipients plenty of power.

Clients and prospects will have your branded logo on their promotional power chargers for many months or years–and you will be the hero of the trade show.

Plan ahead and your promotional power chargers will maximize your marketing and advertising ROI–and help make your trade show a huge success.

Happy Promoting!

——————————–

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

What is The Most Popular Promotional Products for Trade Shows?

Should You Choose the Most Popular Promotional Products for Your Trade Show Give Aways?

choosing the most popular promotional items

Austin, Texas: “What is the Most Popular Promotional Products for Trade Shows?”, is one of the most frequently questions we get asked each day.

My answers are usually three-fold:

1) Why do they want to offer the same gift that everybody else will be handing out?

2) What are you trying to accomplish with this promotional products give-away?

3) Who is your target audience?

Handing out a popular promotional item that people want is great.  You get a long line of people at your trade show booth and you can try to quickly qualify them from there.

However, making your promotional products stand out by being just a little bit different–yet still trendy–can make your promotional products and your booth really stand out.

For example, people love iWallets-the little silicone wallets that stick to the backs of iPhones and smartphones.  However, a promotional iWallet with a built in stand costs about the same–but is more useful and desirable.

Same holds true for promotional power chargers.  You can hand out a typical rectangular or cylindrical power charger or, with a little more time, you can hand out a custom shaped 3D power charger that will be the talk of the show.

Promotional earbuds have been very popular over the past few years.  But earbuds coupled with a branded music download card will go even further.

Another example is the promotional tote bag. Instead of being one of 20 booths handing out trade show tote bags, hand out promotional iPad sleeves that will get much more traction and use.

Popularity just for the sake of being another me-too vendor will not help your trade show booth stand out.

Have fun.  Hand out promotional tech toys and hold contests at your booth for maximum attention and visibility.

Hand out the inexpensive promotional items to everyone–but hold drawings for higher end items–like promotional computer backpacks that will be valued and will also promote your brand.

Know your audience and be a little bit different and your trade show promotional items can be the talk of the show

Happy Promoting!

——————————–

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

How to Choose the Right Promotional Power Charger for Your Next Trade Show

Which Promotional Power Charger is Right For Your Next Trade Show Give-Away?

choosing the right promotional power charger

Austin, Texas: Promotional Power Chargers and Power Sticks are one of the leading trade show items over the past few years.

But with so many to choose from, which promotional power charger is the right one for you to give away at trade shows?

I am a big believer in the A-B-C Rule: Give the “A” gifts to your top customers and prospects at trade shows. Give “B-level” gifts to those prospects that have solid potential. Give a “C” gift to the general public.

Not all trade show prospects have the same potential value to you, so why give the same promotional gifts to all?

For your top prospects, I’d go with a promotional power charger with 6000 mAh or more. This will allow them to charge a iPad or several smaller devices at one time. These start at about $60+, but will be used again and again.

Ah (Ampere hour) is a capacity rating that measures how much current a battery will discharge over a specified period of time (usually measured in a 20 hour period).

Higher mAh ratings determine how long a current can be drawn– basically the amount of energy the battery can store.

To get even more value from these promotional power chargers, I suggest pre-charging them so they are ready to go-– as many of your clients and top prospects will have used up much of their charge on their devices by the time they have reached your booth.

For the “B” clients, I’d d with a solid 2200 mAh promotional power charger in the $10-$15 range.  These hold the longest charge and will have the most re-charge capacity..meaning they can be re-charged over and over again longer tan the less expensive ones–so your clients and prospects will have your logo in their hands for a longer period of time.

For the “C” customers, I’d go with a promotional car USB charger instead of a promotional power charger–so you are able to stretch your budget further.

Don’t try to make your budget go further by ordering cheap power chargers that will only recharge 20-30 times when you can give better gifts to fewer clients that can re-charge 50-200 times– and still give a quality gift to the “C-level” trade show visitors.

All promotional power chargers are not made the same – and neither are all trade show attendees.

Go with the ones that can yield the greatest return for the money.

Happy Promoting!
——————————–

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial planners, startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted usb car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Are Your Trade Show Promotional Items Even Making It Home?

Trade Show Marketing 101: Keep Your Promotional Products Small and Lightweight

trade show swag

Austin, Texas: Trade show promotional items.

We all love free trade show swag.

For some of us, it is our favorite part of going to a trade show.

But on the marketing side, are your trade show promotional items even making it home to your customers?

With the cost of checking luggage getting to the point of ridiculous, most of the trade show attendees will be traveling light and do not want to add any more bulk or weight to their already bulging bags.

Keep this in mind when deciding on what to hand out to your trade show attendees.

Ceramic coffee mugs? Are you kidding? Breakable and heavy.  These won’t even make it home.

I remember a customer that used to hand out wooden yardsticks to trade show attendees.  If this was a local community show, this would be a nice and handy promotional item.

However, if guests were flying in for this trade show–you will find your entire promotional budget in the trash–at the convention center and at the airports.

When planning promotional products for your next trade show, think in terms of usefulness, size and weight.

Promotional USB Power Chargers — these rank high on all 3 levels.

Promotional Earbuds–same thing. Scores on all 3 fronts.

Imprinted Microfiber Cloths–another top choice.

If you would not want to stick the promotional item in your purse, jacket, backpack or suitcase, neither will your customers.

Think a little bit about how your trade show promotional products will be taken home so that you don’t waste your marketing budget and sales opportunity.

Happy Promoting!

——————————–

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial planners, startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted usb car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Imprinted tech promotional products provide branding opportunities to reach particular audiences and they can range in all price levels. Let Geek Tech Branding help select the right promotional product to fit yor exact needs and budget.

20 Proven Trade Show Ideas for Marketing and Promotions

20 Ideas To Help You Get the Greatest Return on Your Trade Show Marketing Budget

tarde show promotional ideas

Austin, TX: Trade Shows–Gotta Love ‘Em… so they say.  Right?!?!

Not only have I exhibited at well over 180 different trade shows in the past 30 years .. but I have helped thousands of companies with their own trade show promotions, in that same time period, so I have learned a lot of tips and tricks along the way.

I had done a Slideshare presentation on Pre-Trade Show Marketing Ideas a few months back – and now I wanted to create a Slideshare specifically on choosing the right promotional products for your trade show – and how to distribute them.

Here is a link to : 20 Proven Trade Show Promotional Product Ideas.   I hope you enjoy it.

If there is one take-away from these trade show ideas that is most important, I think it is the fact that not all show attendees carry the same weight or value to your company.

Reward those that can deliver on future value or sale.

Reward those that have worked with you in the past

Reward those than can help you get more businesses.

And try to quickly qualify the browsers from the potential customers.

Do this quickly and effortlessly to get the highest ROI.

Do this poorly and you will waste a fantastic opportunity to market to those that can offer you the greatest potential value.

Trade shows still carry a tremendous value –even in this social-media, interconnected and busy business climate.

Marketing correctly to this target audience can help separate your organization form the hundreds of others on the trade show floor.

I hope you enjoy these trade show ideas.   Please let me know your feedback and comments.

Happy Promoting!

——————————–

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in tech-related promotional products for trade show gifts, referral gifts, employee gifts, gift with purchase, premiums and other uses.

Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted power chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

9 Tips to Improve Your Pre-Trade Show Marketing

tips for pre trade show marketingDo You Wait for Customers to Walk Into Your Booth- Or Are You Doing Pre-Marketing?

Austin, Texas: Trade shows–you gotta love them–right?

I have personally exhibited at over 250 trade shows in my career – and have helped clients with thousands of their own trade shows, as well – and I am still amazed at the amount of poor planning that goes into the pre-marketing of trade shows.

It is no fun to pass the time watching people walk by your booth — either with a quick head nod (if you are lucky!) or being totally ignored completely.

One of my favorite lines is: “everybody knows us..the ones that matter will stop by.”

Really!??!

The others don’t matter and the ones that do will all make it a point in their busy schedule to seek you out?

Doubtful.

Without pre-trade show marketing, your trade show success will be less than optimal.

How can you pre-market?

Here are 9 pre-trade show marketing ideas:

1) The first step is to contact the trade show organizer and see if they rent out their pre-registration lists. Many do for a fee–and that is money well spent.

2) Do a pre-show mailing to this list (or a segment of the list).  This can be a postcard mailing, a small promotional product in a padded envelope or an email campaign.  I suggest the more pre-show contacts or touches–the better.  Offer these people a reason to stop by–such as sneak preview, free gift, special discounts, meet and greet with a celebrity, etc.

3) Get the list to take some type of action before the show–such as to log in to set up an appointment, or to enter a contest. Those that take some sort of action step before the trade show are more likely to remember your booth.

4) Follow up before the show to remind them of the appointment This can be through email, text or a phone call– but get them something a day or so before the show to remember to stop by your booth.  People are busy and forgetful — and there is so much going on at trade shows and traveling that people may forget.

5) Do some pre-show advertising.  Many shows sell space in a show guide that can be effective with the right offer. Make it enticing for them to stop by.  You can also sponsor certain show activities or events that will get your name and log on the website for trade show attendees to see and link to. I have had good success with pre-show advertising offers by offering a free gift when they stop by.

6) Try to have a consistent theme in all your pre-show contact points– and make sure your booth matches the theme. Colors, fonts, theme, message –make sure they are all consistent so each piece complements and reinforces the other.

7) Train Your Staff: This actually has a great deal to do with pre-show marketing as all staff should know who to expect, how to handle guests who have received pre-show announcements – and when they might be coming.  Staff should know who they need to introduce certain visitors to (whether it be by region, by industry, etc.).  Don’t blow all your pre-show activity on staff who did not get the memo.  Train them.

8) Take notes and see what works for next time. Constantly seek new ideas and better ways and your next trade show can be a huge success.

9) Have fun. Smile. People expect trade shows to be a good time so give them what they expect.  Pack some Tylenol and comfortable shoes before leaving – and try to wear two pairs of socks.  It works for me.

Happy Marketing!

—————————————

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas.  He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.