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How to Make Trade Shows Worth Your Time & Money

Posted by: Splash Omnimedia Tuesday, June 22, 2021

It’s no secret that things are starting to open up again. Golf Tournaments, Trade Shows, and Festivals are here to stay and with a little planning for these events they can become business generating powerhouses!

Everybody knows the game of setting up a booth, passing out brochures, and chuckling over some bad coffee and small talk. But what if at the end of the day you walked away with connections, contacts, and ultimately leads that can actually move the needle?

This is all possible when you take a step back and look at this event as the opportunity it is rather than just another task on the calendar. This event is an opportunity to reach people you typically wouldn’t come in contact with.

Prep starts with the basics.

Who the heck is going to be at this event?

Is it a corporate golf tournament or tradeshow where you’ll run into business executives and their clients? Maybe a festival or baseball game where you’re going to see families with kids?

The better you know your audience going into the event, the better you’ll be able to speak their language with how you present your business.

So, do some research on who’s going to be at the event and plan accordingly.

Now that you know who is going to be at the event, you need to figure out how to grab their attention so that they’re available to hear the message you want to give.

How do I get these folks' attention?

Are you passing out beer? Giving away a big ticket item? Whatever it is, you need to stand out from the crowd because at events like this everyone is competing for the same attention.

This is where you can get creative, and really work some strategy.

To give you an example:

Every year here at Splash Omnimedia we sponsor a hole at a Chamber golf tournament. Everyone on the course is passing out typical domestic beers and swagging out the golfers with branded items as they pass through each hole sponsor’s tent.

To stand out here, we decided to go with some “off the wall beers.” Stuff that grabs a golfer's attention and makes them say “I haven’t had one of those in awhile”. This small shift in beer selection allows us to pass out more beers than other sponsors, which means more branded koozies, and more conversations with our target audience.

So you’ve got their attention, now what?

Look, there is a lot going on at events like these and you’ve got maybe 5 seconds to say what your business does before someone tunes you out. This means your team needs to know your Elevator Pitch.

In short, this elevator pitch will grab their attention with a problem that they can understand, align your business as the solution to that problem, and then let them know how their life will be after you solve that problem for them.

At Splash our Elevator Pitch is:

With people seeing thousands of messages a day, it’s harder than ever to reach your audience. Don’t let ineffective marketing limit your success. With Splash Omnimedia, you’ll gain a marketing team who develops and executes a winning strategy that sets you apart.

This is much more effective than saying:

“uh yeah we do marketing and stuff for people”

Your elevator pitch invites someone into a story with a problem and solution they can understand.

Now that you’ve invited them into a story, ask to follow up.

Tradeshows and events are great for brand awareness and visibility, but that can be very difficult to track. Afterall, you signed up for this dang thing to get results right!

It’s time to get their info. If you’ve given your 5 second elevator pitch and they haven’t run for the hills already, you’ve got someone who will likely listen to you again. So ask them for their business card.

This ask can be done in a hundred different ways, but giving this person something in return seems to work the best. Whether that's dropping a business card in a bucket for a chance to win a Yeti cooler or trading a “like” on Facebook for a $5 off coupon, this little transaction gives you an excuse to talk to them again and over time nurturing this contact into a customer.

With doing a little bit of planning like this up front these events can easily be the spike in traffic that your business needs and getting a game plan laid out for you and your team can make this process easily duplicatable in the future.

If you have an event coming up and are having trouble putting all of the pieces together, we’d love to help. From branded tents to geo-fenced social advertising our team at Splash Omnimedia can make sure that your time and money spent at your event is worth the investment.

Next Level Pro Tip:

Try geofencing the event venue with a social ad the day of the event. This ad can be used to push the visitors to a landing page for your giveaway and capture people who were unable to register at your booth. With the help of a pixel on the landing page you will then be able to retarget them for 30 days or so following the event. The associated cost to this digital strategy will be minimal compared to the overall brand advertising you will get over time.