As I sat down to write this post, I immediately dove into researching statistics, articles, and trends about maximizing success at trade shows. About 10 minutes into my search, with multiple tabs open across multiple windows, I stopped. And I laughed. Where was the first place that I went to jump-start my ideas? The internet. Google searches. Websites.
Your potential customers are online.
Nearly 75% of Americans go online on a daily basis. (PewResearchCenter, 2015) Let that sink in. 3 out of 4 people use the internet every single day.
Look at your own life. How often do you go online to research a product, plan a trip, or look up a review? Technology is a game changer. Quite literally, it has put the collective wealth of human intelligence in the palm of our hands.
That's why I will argue that the single most important message in your whole trade show display is your website address - and a supporting landing page for people who visit your booth directly.
Your display & swag drive visits - digitally.
I can hear you screaming counter arguments left and right – “It’s about the giveaway!” “The product display!” “The face-time!” I agree that those are all important. It's the first glimpse at your brand that a potential customer might see. But at the end of the day, when the attendees are sorting their swag on their hotel bed, deciding what to take and what to toss, they are remembering your display and the face time - and they're looking for more information online to back it up.
Your engaging face time with potential clients will drive them to your website. Your great giveaway, branded with your logo, will remind them to check out your website. Your memorable display will compel attendees to share selfies on Instagram linking their followers to your website.
Trade shows are a showroom for your website - does it stand up?
Your digital footprint, your website (and even your social media presence), is a reflection of your business. And trade shows are a showroom - and a driving force - for your site. So how does your website have the must-haves to hold up? Is it up to date? Easy to navigate? Can you view it easily on a mobile device? Is it as eye-catching and memorable as your booth display? Most importantly, does it give your visitors a chance to convert into a lead?
Maximize the effectiveness of this amazing tool to help your potential clients learn about solutions to problems they're facing, and use your website to enhance your trade show experience.
- Personally invite your target prospects to visit your booth.
- Let attendees make an online appointment to speak with a rep at your booth.
- Invite people to your booth and offer special incentives for mentioning the online code listed on your website.
During the show:
- Host a live online Q&A event during the trade show.
- Offer exclusive discounts to attendees who share your website, check-in on social media, or join your mailing list during the show.
- Share swag that includes a landing page URL built specifically for booth visitors.
- Follow-up with an email invitation to visit the landing page you've created.
- The landing page should include: another offer to download, as well as follow-up steps from your conversations at the booth.
I could go on – but I think you get my point. In a world where online sales and information compete for your customers every day, use that precious face-to-face time to show off what you have to offer. And have a website to back it up.