Need to refresh your trade show marketing strategy? The secret to a powerful plan is collecting as much data as possible. And as many marketers know, attending an event in person is a great way to do this. By observing before exhibiting, you can determine whether or not a trade show is the right fit for you, scope out the layout, get a feel for the crowd, and note what types of businesses are in attendance.
It’s a smart business move, but it could be even smarter. Why? In your quest to gain information about the trade show in question, you might be overlooking a highly valuable secret resource— the trade show staffers themselves.
Think about it. Exhibitors like you always send their smartest marketers and product specialists to work the booth. These people hold the key to a treasure trove of information. After all, they’re in the thick of it. Plus, where else can you find as many competitors and prospects all in one place?
Here’s how to tap into your hidden data resource while you scope out your next potential trade show.
Strengthen Your Trade Show Marketing Strategy by Tapping into the Power of the People
1.Before You Make a Trade Show Strategy Plan, Make a Plan of Attack
Before the event in question, create an information-gathering plan with the people who will be attending. List all of the information you will need to create a killer trade show strategy and then write it down.
Try to include the names of people who might know the answers to your questions too. Whether you’re tracking industry trends, learning more about competitors, searching for potential employees, or just asking what people wish they had done differently, a written list can help guide your day. Call the event staff for a list of exhibitors and booth locations ahead of time to help drive your plan forward.
2. Make a Schedule so You Don’t Miss Anyone
Check that there is time in the schedule for each staff member to gather the information they indicated in their plan. Note: The off hours (when the exhibit hall is closed) are frequently the best time to gather information, so don’t skip the parties, breakfasts or other networking events.
3. Record your Interviews and Document Your Findings
Ask your staffers to use their smartphones to take photos, videos and even audio interviews of each booth and its people. Adding these assets to your final report will provide tangible evidence of your findings.
4. Organize the Info and Ask for Your Staff’s Opinion
Back in the office, staffers should be required to create a combined report, including the audio-visuals. The report should include any insights or ideas that your staff had while collecting the information. After all, you’re sending your best and brightest. Ask for their personal opinions, input, and creative ideas.
After you’ve collected all of the new information, present the final report to sales, marketing, C-level management, and any other groups looking for positioning, competitive and industry insights. Armed with this new information, you’ll have no problem planning a trade show marketing strategy that puts you ahead of the competition. While the other guys are still looking around, you’ll be analyzing highly detailed and personalized data straight from the horse’s mouth.
Need some help analyzing your data and turning it into a targeted trade show exhibit? Let’s talk!