Not every business can afford the giant corner booth at a trade show, and someone has to occupy those 10′ x 10′ spaces and tabletops. If that someone is you and you’re worried about blowing your trade show budget and not getting any traffic or leads, don’t be. You may not have all the bells and whistles, but there are still plenty of ways you can drive traffic to your booth, even if you’re in the back corner.
You may not have all the bells and whistles, but there are still plenty of ways you can drive traffic to your booth, even if you’re in the back corner.
Send an invitation. Generating interest in your trade show attendance needs to begin before the show. You can’t just rely on the exhibitor map. You need to let people know you’re going to be there and where they can find you. This is often best accomplished with an email invite because it’s relatively inexpensive and you can precisely control your delivery date. Most trade shows offer an attendee mailing list, which should include emails, but don’t stop there. Consider other lists, too, such as existing clients and prospects who may also be likely to attend the show.
Give them a reason to stop by your booth. Will you be demonstrating a new product at the show? Tell attendees what will be there. If you don’t have a new product, consider a special “Trade Show Only” offer that requires a booth visit to receive. If you don’t have a new product and can’t afford a special offer, consider a prize giveaway that requires a booth visit for entry to win. A few hundred dollars spent on an enticing prize is well worth the investment if it also brings leads to your booth.
Create buzz about your business by offering a fun giveaway. You’ve probably had this experience yourself, walking around a trade showing and seeing other attendees with a cool giveaway and then immediately wanting to know where they got it. You may be tempted to offer pens, key chains, or other tchotchkes with your company’s logo, but the giveaways that really create buzz are those that are geared more toward the personal interests of the crowd. We’ve seen success with a wide range of items from hot sauce bottles to collapsible wine glasses. You can still put your logo on items like these, and they’re a lot more fun than a pen. If you’re going to use this tactic, have an ample supply of your giveaway item and make sure the sales team working the booth is ready to hook visitors when they show up for their freebie.
Engage more attendees with geofencing. When people are at a trade show, they have a small amount of time to cover a large amount of territory. Geofencing is a great way to reach attendees and prompt them to visit your booth. You can also remind them to explore your offerings after the trade show is over.
These are just a few ways to drive more traffic to your trade show booth.