Both veterans and companies, which exhibit at trade shows for the first time, know that the biggest obstacle between them and landing a sale is the noise that naturally builds during an event. You’re in constant competition with every other exhibitor in the building and engagement with trade show visitors becomes harder and harder. You might have a moment, where your booth design is curious enough to investigate or maybe your video caught the attention of a prospect buyer, but what you want is for a genuine connection.
This brings us to the concept of re-engagement. It’s easy to break through all the visual and audial noise to reach a trade visitor, but it’s an entirely different experience to command their attention for a longer period of time, have them leave their contact information and then convert them into a customer. The decision making processes becomes ever more demanding, when you have such a wealth of choice at a trade fair. Exhibitors need to work extra hard to walk every step until the much-desired conversion.
How do you re-engage with trade visitors, who are being pulled away from you in every possible direction? We’re going to show you how to at three different, but equally important stages in their encountering your company.
A smart booth design and a dynamic video only gets you a short glance, if a trade visitor is really not paying attention (and you have to assume that they’re not, because they have their own agenda and trade fairs are overcrowded as it is). What you need to do is create a moment. Companies are now embracing promotions and giveaways as the standard way to drive guests who might only be a passing spectator. Companies often hire people as hosts to drive foot traffic into the booth and it’s also not uncommon to see actors dressed in costumes that want to take selfies or offer prizes.
Give out discount codes and get people to sign up to win a prize at the end of a lottery. All these are small hooks to re-engage with visitors from the start. Offering a promotion means that there’s a higher chance for this person to then get in touch with you after the event and use their code or claim their prize. The same thing happens with the lottery. You’re managing to establish short but real connections in the first minutes to hours interacting with a potential buyer.
How do you stay relevant and visible throughout an exhibition? You target social media channels. You need to know all the hashtags the trade fair is using and figure out the best way to take part in a meaningful way. If you have a representative at a talk or a session or an awards show, have them post pictures to Facebook, live tweet the event and make Instagram stories. Use the hashtag in all posts and make sure to tag people. Tagging people makes them notice you, and not only do you get the bonus of maybe a signal boost from shares and retweets, but you also get their attention. This also works when you share pictures from your booth with visitors who might take selfies with a mascot or a special display you’ve brought for the fair. A good basic attraction would be to have a face-in-hole board, where people can take photos and share them online. This way they’re giving you their contact details and you can get in touch with them later.
What everyone should be doing after the trade fair has wrapped up and everyone’s travelled back home is to send follow-up emails. If you have sales leads and interested buyers, these are the very first people you should be getting in touch with as soon as you’re in the office. You’ll come off as serious, prompt and professional. Not to mention it’s a strong proactive move. It’s why you have worked so hard at the event to get these leads. You don’t want to lose the opportunity to convert any of them into sales.
If you’ve given prizes that are samples of your product or maybe your whole product, then get in touch with the winner and ask for opinions. If they like it enough, you may have another potential sale on your hands. If not, at least now you’ve one more friendly connection – and that’s no small feat in on itself. The same goes for people you’ve interacted on social media, though these should be left for last and you should sift through the ones that really sound like good prospects.
And that’s how you re-engage your audience at every stage of the trade fair. Roll out these three strategies at the same time, you’re guaranteed a higher retention rate instantly!