Maximizing Manufacturing Tradeshows — An Exhibitor Perspective
Industrial trade show participation requires significant investment. Developing a well-crafted Manufacturing Tradeshow Strategic Plan is critical to obtaining maximum value from tradeshow participation. Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning to be an exhibitor at your next manufacturing tradeshow.
Preshow Industrial Marketing Efforts
The best way to highlight your manufacturing expertise is to position your company as a Thought Leader in your Industrial Niche. Consider leveraging the Industrial Tradeshow platform by:
• Presenting an educational session at the tradeshow.
• Publishing a relevant, targeted White Paper, E-Book or Infographic and include it in preshow marketing efforts.
• Engaging with other industry Thought Leaders on social media prior to tradeshow.
• Invite current or prospective customers to visit your booth or hospitality event in advance of the tradeshow.
Exhibit Booth Personnel Training
Make sure company representatives who will be at the booth are trained in how to engage with tradeshow attendees. This may include preshow role-playing, script preparation and practice approaching new contacts.
• Organizationally determine who will follow up with each of the leads.
• Within your organization, define the timeliness/deadline for lead follow-up.
• Determine the goals of lead follow-up:
o Nurture a growing relationship with a long manufacturing sales cycle.
o Forward any solution-based assets.
o Arrange a phone call between key personnel.
o Ask about any pending opportunities or needs for advice, services, or products.
o If any tradeshow incentives were offered, ask if they would like to utilize the incentive.
Manufacturing Tradeshow Participants
• Is the tradeshow targeted for your specific industrial niche?
• Will your competitors be there?
• Does the tradeshow occur at a time that does not conflict with anticipated corporate needs?
Industrial Tradeshow Location
• Is the tradeshow in the city that will pull at the attention and availability of attendees?
• Will the desire to take the family to Disney World, enjoy a show on Broadway or shop on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile divert the attention and availability of tradeshow attendees?
• What incentives or methods of engagement can you offer attendees to keep them engaged with you at the show?
Location, Location, Location — It Matters for Tradeshow Booths
Just like restaurants and houses, booth location is critically important. Look carefully at the conference floor plan and consider the impact of traffic flow on booth visibility. Consider the following:
o Desirable locations often include end caps, islands, and corners.
o Being on the route to food can help increase foot traffic.
o An individual consideration is how close you want your booth to be to direct competitors’ booths.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
• Carefully think through everything that will be needed at the conference and order it in advance.
• As prices increase on site, you can save expenditures (and grief) through advanced ordering.
• Order on-site Wi-Fi for your booth to ensure the ability to quickly access digital assets.
• Take printed copies of sales collaterals to ensure availability in the case of digital downtime.
• Book hotels early and be sure to book enough nights to cover show set up and take down.
• To avoid being the victim of “hotel pirates,” book through registered conference partners.
How About a Nice Tchotchke?
• Bling should have utility for the manufacturing audience. Items that might appeal include:
o Compact toolkit
o Mini screwdriver set with interchangeable bits
o Tape measure
o Portable chargers
• If you want to stand out from the crowd, consider finding other relevant and useful bling that has more of a lighthearted touch.
For additional information regarding a successful Industrial Tradeshow Experience, contact us now.