Your Guide to Maximum Trade Show ROI

Jillian MacNulty Picture

by Jillian MacNulty | Last Updated: Sep 23, 2019

We always love having a little trick up our sleeves for trade show season, whether it’s a fun new sticker to give away at our booth or debuting a new talk track for our session. And while those things are fun, we know they’re extras. Because the real reason we attend trade shows is the big “L”...leads! There’s nothing more valuable than capturing that lead information and getting a little facetime, all in one fell swoop. And in order to do that, your team needs to be equipped with the right tools and resources. Let’s look at a few ways to make sure your team is ready to make that trade show investment a worthy one. Travel Information Ok, let’s start with the basics: your booth will only be successful if your team is, well...there. And if you’re sending a large group, the logistics behind getting everybody there can get a little crazy. Ensure that your team has easy access to all of their travel information–from hotel reservation information to flight information to dining reservations and per diem information. And the trick? Make sure it’s all in one place. And that one place shouldn’t be their email inbox! Think of how many emails your team receives in a day–especially leading up to a big trade show! Consider creating a mobile app with all of your team’s travel information. That way they have easy access whether they’re in the airport or at the hotel checking in.  On-site Team Directory Your booth is only as good as your team, and if you’re a large organization, odds are you’ve got a big group attending any given show! Provide an easy way for your team to contact and connect with each other by providing an on-site team directory. The best practice here is to make it easily accessible before, during, and after the show so the team can develop report and communication with each other throughout the event, so a mobile directory is likely the way to go for this tool.  Booth Schedule Sure, creating a booth schedule will help you rest easy that somebody will be manning the booth at all times, but this becomes especially helpful when you’ve got a large team attending the show. Think about it: if a prospect comes over asking to chat with somebody they’ve already had previous conversations with, instead of saying “come back later” and risking losing out on that conversation, you could pull up the booth schedule and tell them exactly when that colleague will be manning the booth. This drastically increases your chances of seeing that customer come back later, and shows that your team is organized and efficient. Ditch the Brochure You’ve likely been the person with a bag full of brochures after a conference. And what do you do with that bag on your way to the airport? If you’re anything like me, you probably sort through it, grab the few business cards stuffed at the bottom, then ditch the bag before you go through security. That’s why it’s crucial that you provide a digital leave-behind for your booth visitors. A great way to do this is to create an event-specific mobile app that contains content and information specific to that show’s audience. Not only does this help you avoid the inevitable pre-flight brochure purge, but it also shows that your brand puts its best digital foot forward. The average company spends upwards of $60,000 on a booth alone, so making sure your booth staff is equipped with all of the tools and resources they need to capture leads efficiently is crucial.

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