News and Insights

4 Tips to Maximize Your Investment in Trade Shows

May 15, 2024

Trade shows still play a critical role in lead generation and sales in the manufacturing world. Even in a B2B marketing universe that is overwhelmingly digital, they remain important hubs to meet new prospects, showcase and see new technologies, gain industry insight, nurture customer/supplier relationships, and scope out competitors.

However, great leads are never a guarantee for just showing up. B2B marketers are under significant pressure to squeeze every opportunity out of such significant investments. So, if you’re a marketing or events specialist that’s already paying the big bucks to secure your space, design a booth, send a sales team, and ship out equipment to a major trade show, what else can you do to set your team up for a successful show?

  1. Cast the starand an understudy. About nine months to a year out from a big show, marketing teams should align on the new solution(s) they want to spotlight. But delays happen … and that exciting new technology might not be ready for showtime. That’s why marketers need a back-up plan out of the gate. If there is no other new tech waiting in the wings, get creative. Original research, customer success stories, and branded services can all be positioned as valuable offerings to promote in the lead-up to the show.
  2. Connect offerings to big industry trends. Position technologies both new and old around industry-wide needs. In world of exuberant engineers, it’s so easy to get lost in the specs—or spread messaging too thin trying to highlight every perceived benefit. Instead, the most impactful trends or pain-points addressed your solution(s) address and run with a more focused narrative in promotions.
  3. Don’t neglect earned media. Publishers are sending smaller teams of reporters and editors to cover events, but the days of doing press at shows are far from over. First, exhibitors should plan their earned media strategy months in advance with a schedule of pre-show, at-show, and post-show engagement activities. Marketers can benefit from robust pre-show activities like teasing launches with pre-show announcements, securing coverage in show previews, and initiating outreach to media for on-site briefings early. On-site interview facilitation by a PR professional is also a must to ensure post-show follow-up on key details and questions doesn’t fall through the cracks.
  4. Deploy geotargeted advertising and re-targeting. Use geofencing of the event space and nearby radius to disseminate targeted ads to devices belonging to attendees that align with your profile during the show. But don’t forget re-targeting those for follow-up ads in the weeks following the event.

With the Fall trade show season, fast-approaching consider these tips to maximize PR and marketing around your next big trade show!

TAGS: Manufacturing

POSTED BY: Ron Gumucio

Ron Gumucio