It’s 2021 and everything new and exciting seems to be virtual: meetings, medical consultations, parties, and even brand experiences.
But as vaccination programs roll out and the world begins to gradually re-open, opportunities for in-person events are popping up once again.
While virtual trade shows do exist, they don’t really give the full experience of a product or service like their in-person counterparts. For that reason, you might be breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of returning to traditional trade shows.
Whether you’re a well-established industrial manufacturing company or you’re just starting out, it’s critical to attend trade shows and connect with the most promising leads in your industry. But to get the most out of trade shows, you’ll need a well-adapted industrial marketing strategy.
As your manufacturing company adjusts to regular programming post-pandemic, you might find yourself wanting to brush up on your trade show-specific industrial marketing knowledge. At the very least, you need a marketing plan that secures the biggest return on your investments.
In this article, you will learn five industrial marketing tips to boost brand awareness and get results when exhibiting at trade shows.
1. Prepare Your Brand Collateral
Work on the design of your booth and backdrop. Marketing materials indeed have to be fresh and updated, but be mindful of how much is spent here. If the messaging of your brand remains the same over the years, it’s okay to reuse your brand collateral. To make things more exciting, consider putting in lights, a TV, or whatever else is new.
What is most important is that your booth is clean and focused. Don’t put out too much information on your backdrop, as people who pass by will only notice the most prominent parts. Just like with digital, use the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your manufacturing company.
2. Recruit the Right People
You’re going to spend on human resources as well as travel expenses, food, and accommodation (for multi-day trade shows). Recruit the right people so you don’t waste the amount that you spend on your manpower.
Trade shows last for many hours so prepare your recruits for this. It’s a common sight on trade shows that the people manning the booth are bored, just talking to the people at the neighbor booth, on their phone, or worse, sleeping. So it really doesn’t matter if the people you’re sending to trade shows are the best with technical knowledge; if they will be doing all these things during the fair, then they’re not the right people.
People are passing by all day and you want to take advantage of that foot traffic. Evaluate who you’re sending to your trade shows. While technical knowledge is important, your criteria for choosing should be whether they will be lively, engaging, and committed to the task of turning foot traffic into qualified leads.
You can audit your manpower by visiting them a couple of times at the show just to ensure that they are working the booth as much as possible, but don’t overdo this and cross the line of micromanaging.
Want to get the most out of your trade show industrial marketing strategy? Consult with the experts at MFG Tribe!
3. Promote Before the Show
Get the word out that you’re joining a trade show by enticing your clients and suppliers to visit your booth. You can’t just rely on chance and hope that people passing by will be interested in what your booth offers. Without promotions, the people manning your manufacturing company’s booth may be staring at walls and end up dilly-dallying.
You have to let people know what you will be doing at the trade show, what you’ll be demonstrating, and what you’ll be giving away. Shoot videos, write content, create a landing page, use your social media, do email marketing—do all of these efforts with the call to action of visiting your company at the trade fair to check out your product offerings. Incorporate SEO in your industrial marketing strategy and mention the name of your trade show in your promotional content. This ensures that you show up higher in search engine results when people look for the exhibit that you will be participating in.
Create brand awareness even before the show to increase the chances of attendees seeking out your booth instead of just happening to pass it.
4. “Work” the Show
Sometimes, even with the perfect marketing materials, the right recruit, and enough pre-event promotions, you might not get people coming to your booth. That’s okay! Now it’s time to actually work that booth!
Here are some industrial marketing ideas that you can implement to maximize your manufacturing company’s exposure at any trade show:
- The people manning the booth can stay away from the back and go to the aisles where most people are.
- Have a giveaway or some sort of gimmick that will get people’s interest.
- Grab passers-by’s attention and engage in casual conversations that eventually lead to what your manufacturing company is doing at the trade show.
You have spent business resources at the show so make sure that you are building awareness for your manufacturing company and getting the attendees’ interest in your products and services.
5. Make Your Investment Worthwhile
Exhibiting at a trade show is an investment. In the end, while digital is the present and the future, face-to-face interactions at a trade show are a different type of experience that remains unmatched by anything virtual.
Just because a tactic is old doesn’t mean you should just throw it out the window. For B2B companies, especially your industrial company, trade shows can still give you amazing results. Develop an industrial marketing strategy that gives your prospects an experience that digital can’t provide.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your industrial marketing strategy, you can always get the help of an industrial marketing agency with expertise in your industry (and trade show marketing in particular). If you want the best industrial marketing agency, give MFG Tribe a call. We’ll help you plan out the best way to showcase your company at any trade show event. Visit our website to learn more now!