Old School Marketing 101

Marketing our business in this golden age of technology is a whole new ballgame these days….we are painfully aware of that. Using Trade Shows as a marketing tool has always been a good marketing strategy for many businesses. But now we are questioning ourselves—does trade show marketing work? Are trade shows still relevant in the new age of online marketing, websites, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Bing, iPhones, iPads, and social media? Or are trade shows and trade show marketing just last century’s marketing dinosaurs? Is it still worthwhile to exhibit at a trade show or convention, especially in today’s economy?

You might be surprised to know that the answer is YES—trade show marketing still works…which is why every year there are thousands of trade shows held through the US and the world, with millions of attendees. Attending these trades shows as well are tens of thousands of successful trade show exhibitors (like you) who are introducing new products and selling existing products, meeting new customers, and establishing new business relationships.

Trade shows are still a viable, cost-effective “face-to-face” marketing method. Trade show marketing allows an exhibitor to meet with hundreds of motivated potential customers.  But trade show success is not a foregone conclusion nor is it guaranteed. Here are a few quick tips to ensure your next Trade Show is a hit:

PLAN ahead of time. Determine your purpose, set goals, make a checklist, set deadlines and a timeline.

QUALIFY your prospects. You definitely want to greet everyone passing by but ask if they are in the market for your product or service.  Ask if they are using any of your competitors.  Ask if the prospect is a decision-maker or influencer.  Ask these questions, but then listen.  Give them a chance to talk.  Determine what the likelihood of they or their company ever buying from you is.

FOLLOW UP. You can double or triple your new customers from a trade show by doing one thing… follow-up.  Call all of your prospects within 3 days of getting back to work. It’s a safe bet that the brochure and business card you passed out is sitting in a plastic bag along with a hundred other business cards and brochures. Your prospects will get to it when they have the time….just like you. So give them a call while the trade show is still fresh in their minds

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