How Trade Shows Strengthen Relationships With Your Audience

Learn how trade show booths can build brand and product awareness and help you strengthen your relationship with key segments of your target audience to make the most out of an upcoming trade show.

How Trade Show Environments Help You Build Connections

trade-shows-strengthen-business-relationshipsTrade shows are a proven environment for connecting with an audience and strengthening relationships with existing customers. Many of the people who attend these shows are actively seeking new products, services or industry expertise. Others are existing customers who already know your brand and may be interested in deepening the relationship by learning more about different products or services.

Trade shows give you a natural platform to strengthen relationships with these audience segments by hosting meetings, performing demonstrations, and educating attendees on how your product can help them solve a problem.

Compared to other methods of marketing and outreach, a trade show is a great way to get your product into people’s hands, let them see how it works, and answer any questions they might have. It also lets you put your top talent in an area where they can shine by engaging and interacting with leads. Not only can you refresh the bond with your existing customers, but you strengthen the bond and ensure loyalty for years to come.

The face-to-face meeting also gives your best customers the chance to pass along valuable feedback you can use to improve your business model. If you have been moving top prospects through the sales funnel, the trade show may be the perfect time to close the deal.

Critically, trade shows can connect you with key industry players including:

  • Media
  • Bloggers
  • Distribution partners
  • Marketing professionals
  • Analysts
  • Industry alliance members

These stakeholders have a vested interest in your product; a trade show gives them the hands-on time they need to become familiar with your products and promote them within their own networks. As a result, you could receive more leads that ends with more revenue for your company.

Research shows that 4 out of 5 trade show attendees have buying power. By connecting with qualified leads, you can get your product into stores from coast to coast. Since the trade show environment is highly concentrated, you have the potential to leverage the event to maximize conversion through focused meetings.

With so many individuals traveling to attend these shows, many of the buyers you will encounter have already spent time researching your product, services, and staff members. As a result, they are further along in the buying cycle. They may desire a face-to-face meeting with your team members to learn more, see a product demo, or even negotiate a deal. For this reason, you may want to consider designating an area around your booth to accommodate for these meetings and engage with visitors who may be further out in the lead cycle.

How Trade Show Booths Increase Engagement and Build Relationships

Since the trade show booth will need to accommodate prospects who are at differing points within the sales cycle, it should allow for several separate spaces. A well-designed booth may include elements such as:

  • Pop up displays that educate and inform marketing professionals, PR executives, and new leads, while directing the attention of your existing customers for the purposes of upselling.
  • Open meeting spaces that allow lead nurturing if privacy is not a concern. These also capture audience curiosity by showing trade show attendees how many people are interested in your brand.
  • Media center with interactive elements showcasing your social media pages or customer testimonials, allowing immediate opt-in to email newsletter or other forms of lead nurturing, or letting staff showcase the product website or perform demonstrations for trade show attendees.
  • Good lighting, a critical yet often overlooked aspect of trade show design that can affect how attendees perceive your products and your brand.
  • Consistent branding in the form of graphics and banners on all trade show displays, backdrops, tables, booths, and more.
  • Enticing prize giveaways that will give leads that extra push needed to take the next step in the conversion funnel. (Don’t forget to collect information from any leads that want a free giveaway!)
  • Intimate lounge spaces where attendees can sit and relax, take a break from the hectic trade show environment, and be exposed to your brand.

Putting it All Together to Strengthen Relationships

Quality trade show booth design will go a long way toward helping you maximize your investment of time and expense in attending the show. The money you invest in putting together a professional display will come back to you in the form of more conversions, more leads, and more sales both during and after the event.

To take full advantage of these benefits and strengthen relationships, plan ways to maximize the focused attention you will have at the trade show. Effective ways to get the most from a trade show include:

  • Promoting the event on your newsletter, website, email signature, social media profiles to connect and engage with your targeted audience. This can maximize the number of qualified leads who visit your trade show booth.
  • Reaching out to industry organizations and alliances who will be at the trade show to discuss cross promotion at the event.
  • Investing in high-quality takeaways such as graphics, one pagers, brochures, spec sheets and more. Do not limit yourself on the take-home material you can give out to the audience during the tradeshow.
  • Staffing the event with your brightest stars; employ your most effective sales people who have the highest lead conversion rates to meet with the audience head-on and represent your brand in the best light.
  • Holding a promotion, giveaway, or drawing for a “big prize”.
  • Offering an educational opportunity such as a seminar, webinar, or demonstration that allows you to introduce your product as a solution for a known pain point of your customer base.

Leverage the power of social media at your booth to generate buzz at the trade show and expand your influence among those who were unable to attend or to engage leads who may be watching your brand with interest.

By taking the time to prepare for your next trade show event with high quality materials, coordinating talented staff for the day of the trade show, and maximizing trade show displays and booth real estate, you will set the stage for successful relationship building at the event.

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