Trade shows are beneficial to any size business from a small one person business to a fortune 500 company. The going wisdom says that trade shows level the playing fields between small businesses and established ones.
Well, not so much. Promoting at a trade show can be quite expensive.
But the beauty of this event is that exposure depends more on the trade show overall marketing strategy employed by the brand, and not always the ones who have the most money to spend, spend it wisely.
If you are looking to get your brand into the minds of potential customers at a trade show on a budget, here are a few tips.
- Stay local – Find a trade show that does not require overnight stay. Start with local events and get connected with people who are part of your community.
- Craft an elevator pitch – Have a short pitch ready and memorized. The length of an elevator ride in a tall building. Craft it carefully, weighing every word. Be concise as possible and know it in your sleep. This way you can use it whenever opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize opportunities when they present themselves.
- Send weekly emails to distribution list – announcing the trade show and your participation in it. Preparation should be a key part of any trade show marketing strategy.
- Promote Your Business Whenever You Communicate – whether it is an email, business card and so on. Customize it to the event.
- Use Social Media to Promote Your participation – in the trade show. Invite people to come and visit you at your booth.
- Use Press Releases to promote your business – Press releases announcing what you are offering are important. The trade show press release has to be well crafted and adhere to a few journalistic guidelines. People who attend the trade show are interested in what is there to be seen. Appearance in the daily trade show blast will draw the attention of the crowd without costing you money.
- Promote your business by giving a presentation or a speech – Not all people feel comfortable talking in front of a crowd. But if you, or someone in your organization, likes to do that, an expert speech will get your brand noticed.
Most of the things mentioned above are free. Now it’s time to talk about the small budget you do have.
Rent instead of buy or make – Trade show booth display. Be flexible and you won’t have to spend money on making it and storing it when the show is over. But, when you get comfortable at promoting your business at a trade show and it shows results, then it’s time to think about buying and making a display. It will pay for itself in a few events.
Also read: Top Promotional Giveaway Ideas
Freebies as business promotion – Gadgets with your brand name on it are a wonderful tool to create brand recognition. You can give them away as people visit your booth, you can give them away on the floor to draw attention or you can use them as bait. Create something they have to bring to your booth in order to get the freebie.
Trade shows are a good way to meet people face to face, create buzz, announce new product and generate promising leads. With the right trade show marketing strategy, it doesn’t have to be cost prohibitive.