Increasing Your Brand Awareness At Trade Shows
October 18, 2016
Many companies who exhibit at trade shows put the majority of their efforts into building a solid sales path to move as much merchandise as possible while overlooking opportunities to increase brand awareness at the same time. Trade show sales help the bottom line today, but sound trade show marketing will build your brand recognition, which will ultimately turn that sales path into a freeway. It's easier than you might think to combine effective sales and marketing techniques in your trade show exhibit, and in some cases, a little forethought will serve to further both purposes in a single action. Combine enough of those actions, and you'll see both sales and brand awareness climb steadily.
- Advance Marketing - Advance marketing is nothing new to trade show exhibitors, but the most effective ways of doing it have been steadily changing and will continue to evolve as your customers and prospects find new ways to connect. One key element in the current advanced marketing strategy is to invite, rather than inform, and give people a reason to accept that invitation. Use social media to push general information about your trade show appearances to a wide audience, but don't stop there. Craft customized email invitations and send them to current customers and prospects. Serious buyers frequently walk into a trade show with a list of vendors they plan to visit, so be sure you've given those buyers a reason to add you to their "must-see" list.
- Booth Design - Your display booth is full of opportunities to increase your brand awareness. Visual branding relies heavily on consistency, so be sure every graphic that includes your company name and logo is in keeping with the colors and fonts set forth in your branding package, and that it's all professionally printed on quality materials so that colors match and all the images are crisp and clear. Place your logo and name higher than anything else in the booth, so it can be seen from the greatest distance. Use signage closer to eye level for messages like making your unique selling proposition (USP) and brand philosophy evident. Don't give in to the temptation of using too many words, though. People will have a stronger response and better memory of a message that includes fewer words and an impressive image.
- Give Them A Reason To Share - Speaking of images, one of the best ways to expand your brand awareness beyond the walls of the convention hall is to entice visitors to share photos of your displays on social media. Social media is driven by visuals, so if you create a display that people want to take selfies with, they're going to be a lot more inclined to share a visual that includes your name, logo, URL or QR code, and a hashtag or two. When visitors tag the trade show in a post with your image, your exposure grows dramatically, and, if you've designed effective landing and content pages on your website, your brand awareness will increase as people who encounter your images on social media come to check out your website.