You could have a salsa-dancing robot on display during an exhibition to wow your visitors. But will that alone guarantee success?
What you really need is a powerful engagement plan that provides personalised, memorable and impactful booth experiences. To help you make lasting connections, generate new leads and resonate through the noise.
The 5 E’s of face-to-face engagement cover everything you need to accomplish a knockout trade show performance. Learn these smart steps here and apply them to your marketing strategy to make your next exhibition a golden investment.
#1: End Result
When the expo draws to a close, how will you define success? Your end result is the bedrock of your marketing strategy. It gives you direction, helping you make your exhibition vision a reality.
What you want to achieve is entirely personal. It could be an anticipated return on investment, a certain number of appointments to secure on the day or bolstering your marketing leadership.
Perhaps you’ve already defined success. But does your vision need updating to reflect new goals? Consider re-evaluating your end result to match any changes within your business.
#2: Engagement Strategy
You now know what you want to achieve. Your next step is to devise a strategy to engage with booth attendees to maximise your expo performance.
An effective engagement strategy should include:
- How you will attract attendees and qualify them as sales prospects (personalised openings, product demonstrations etc)
- The ways you’ll differentiate your stand from competitors (competitions, themes etc)
- Key people and their roles (lead generator for qualifying leads etc)
- A plan to upskill and inspire your team (briefing session, feedback etc)
- A compelling reason qualified prospects will want to see you again (exclusive industry intel, special exhibition deal etc)
Plan your booth activity and create a schedule of events including any presentations or interviews your trade show team will execute. Also, list any staff resources required and who’s responsible for different engagement tasks. You can share this plan with your team to keep them focused and on-track for success.
The meat of your trade show experience should be the entertainment you plan to provide. How will you magnetise visitors to your booth? Aside from that salsa-dancing robot.
“When you walk through a sales tradeshow with 100 different booths, every one of them promises to help you sell more and save money, don’t they? But what do you go home that night and tell your spouse about? It’s the booth with the coolest features.” – Ken Krogue, Forbes
It’s centre piece was a presentation theatre situated beneath a giant glowing lotus flower. The company’s aim was to engage visitors through an inspiring, visual journey and they succeeded.
A smaller budget doesn’t necessarily equal a B-performance. You could create a memorable experience through a theme attendees can connect with. For instance, if you’re all about artificial intelligence, you could have Blade Runner themed costumes and visuals for an immersive show.
Your booth visitors are on the hunt for product or service information. Providing this effectively starts with finding a creative way to engage the senses.
California-based Marketing and PR firm, The Shepherd Group, taught its booth visitors about the different clients they work with using coffee giveaways. They offered thousands of coffee packages branded with the companies the firm represented. Thinking about the strategy from an attendee’s perspective allowed the company to generate more leads and a better recall:
“What would resonate with them after the assault on their senses that takes place at virtually every show? We chose a strategy that offered them an opportunity to rest, reinvigorate themselves and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures—a great cup of coffee.” – Michael Shepard, CEO
We humans like to act on emotions first and use rationale later. Which is why attendees’ feelings are pivotal to the success of your engagement strategy and in achieving your end result.
Think about how you’d like them to respond and the ways you will elicit positive emotions through your booth.
Telling an emotional story visitors can relate to will help you create lasting experiences. Wouldn’t you rather purchase from a business that moves you emotionally? That makes you feel good?
You could move away superficial giveaways and dive deep into your business’s values; how you plan to improve the lives you connect with; past examples of the ways you’ve benefited customers.
Use humour, inspiration, fear or love: whatever suits your business’ brand. Resonate your message through marketing material and post-show interactions to extend your impact.
Exceptional Engagement Made Easy
Make your next trade show as exciting as a Game of Thrones episode using the 5 E’s of engagement:
- End result
- Engagement strategy
Do this and every precious minute spent on the show floor will count towards success. Hungry for further insight into these powerful engagement methods? Attend an Expo Stars masterclass with your team to nail your next trade show performance.