Using the Web to Extend the Life of Trade Exhibits Beyond Conferences
Trade shows represent a unique and pretty much unmatched opportunity for businesses to advertise, market themselves and hone their sales tactics simultaneously in real time and under the most interactive conditions possible.
In terms of sheer engagement with potential customers, nothing beats a trade exhibit and all of its tangents qualities. However, while they are deeply one-on-one and highly engaging chances to meet clients and build business relationships, trade shows are also short lived events that cost a lot of money to manage; anywhere between 7 and 30,000 dollars per show. Because of this, most companies can't afford to do more than one conference exhibit per year or possibly even less.
Using the Web to Extend the Life of Trade Exhibits
While this means an unfortunate loss of deep selling opportunity, some companies have become creative and found ways of extending, at least in part, the useful sales life of their trade show exhibit well beyond its normal duration. In doing this, they're exploiting additional sales that fly right by the less innovative business.
Interactive Virtual Tours
Possibly the most obvious way to extend the shelf life of a trade booth investment: many businesses have started taking this powerful route by taking a virtual tour throughout their trade booth, all of its features and all of its sales information.
In addition, when posting this event on line, they include new info through integration tools in video editing software like Corel Draw or Adobe Elements. This guided tour video can then be posted to the company website or linked to from social media promotion pages.
Clients taking a tour are given a somewhat limited but still highly expansive information tour of company products, services and special deals.
These are in essence like a limited, bite sized version of the virtual tour. By filming video segments from more notable, informative or exciting moments during a trade exhibit and editing them for maximum viewer impact, business can then post on line to sites like YouTube and create even more interest and sharing of their original sales pitches.
This can work particularly well if additional info and linkbacks to the business website are added to the video clips, giving anyone who watches an informative experience and a chance to find out more quickly and easily. The key to success with off site hosted video clips is to frame them in a search friendly “how-to” format that matches the kind of search queries the businesses target customer base is likely to use inside that niche.
Social Media Buzz Building
While lots of trade show booths use social media to promote their trade shows before and during the event, not all of them are taking full advantage of the downstream benefits that these platforms can provide.
One way in which some businesses have learned involves getting as many trade booth visitors as possible to join with that company's social media pages and then continue offering information from the exhibit, exclusive offers and special content to those visitors who did sign up. The key lies in the special offers component. By giving their potential clients an immediate reason to opt into social media connection right there at the trade booth, show sellers create calls to action that reverberate downwards as the months go by and new offers are presented to the original booth visitors, some of them garnering new additional sales.
Useful Take Aways
Finally, aside from all the typical promotional efforts that extend the lifespan of the trade booth, one of the biggest long-range sales enhancers lies in the form of a highly useful but relatively inexpensive prize that's given to people who visit a physical trade exhibit during a conference.
This could be something as simple as a concentrated information booklet that keeps being useful or it could be something more complex such as a free tool or sample product. Even better still –at least to businesses in certain niches such as software, IT or information related niches—would be a simple, proprietary downloadable app that offers some sort of highly useful niche based function and which is given out to trade booth attendees through social media or visits to the sellers website; for example, a currency conversion app given by financial services sellers to their trade booth visitors.
This last tool could take some effort to set up in advance but its marketing value would speak volumes about a seller's professionalism to potential buyers.