Most trade shows involve crowded convention centers packed with as many booths as possible. Additionally, the cost to have a booth at these shows can be quite expensive, let alone the travel and materials costs. However, even without a large budget, it is possible to make an impact at tradeshows and generate quality leads for your company. To do so, it is important to utilize tactics that are inexpensive yet effective. Below are a few budget-friendly yet impactful trade show marketing ideas to consider for your next conference:
Utilizing social media before, during and after a trade show can serve to reach a wide audience of attendees without spending a lot of money. Most events have official hashtags; be sure to use these in order to reach those interested in the event. Besides Twitter, there are multiple social media that can be used to boost your event presence. From Foursquare and Instagram to SlideShare and YouTube, you can even use social media to reach people who didn’t attend the event. For more on this topic, read the following blog post that covers using social media at events.
Take advantage of event activities that take place outside of the trade show area. Many conferences s will have networking events, either official or unofficial. Use these as opportunities to spread the word about your company and build your network of contacts. Be sure to collect contact information from people and have plenty of business cards on hand to give out. Make notes of those conversations that you feel need to be followed up with after the show, as it can be hard to remember details of each person’s needs after the show is ended and you’re back in the office.
Just because you don’t have enough money for a “triple-platinum ultimate sponsorship” doesn’t mean that you have to sit in a corner with a cookie-cutter booth and go unnoticed. Create an engaging experience that draws attendees to your booth. Whether it’s fun decorations or giveaways, create something that will spread via word of mouth among attendees.
Another idea is to think beyond your booth, and even the convention center. If you are participating at a large event, there are usually many things that happen outside of the official show. Consider approaches to reach people through guerilla or grassroots efforts. In addition to attracting the attention of attendees, these innovative approaches are the ones most likely to gain additional attention through media coverage.
Trade shows can be a great way to showcase your products or services to a large amount of people. Additionally, the opportunity to generate new leads is another factor that makes trade shows a popular tactic for marketers. As you can tell from the list above, even with a small monetary investment, it is possible to use a mix of innovative tactics in order to increase the success of your presence.
Do you need help executing budget-friendly trade show marketing ideas? Learn more about our event marketing services, and be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more B2B marketing best practices.