Trade shows need a ROI – we do them to obtain new customers and re-connect with old networks, customers, partners and prospects. And of course, we secretly hope to find that one new major customer that justifies all our hard work and huge expense.
IBC is the tradeshow attended by broadcasters, TV production companies and film makers alike in Amsterdam. Manufacturers and suppliers spend a small fortune to attend and exhibit – I suspect everyone collectively spends over Eur200M on the whole show – so spending a small amount of time and budget to attract people to your stand is well worth the effort to give yourself an advantage over the rest. Do not just rely on the luck of people passing and saying “Oooo, that’s just what I was looking for!”
5 marketing things you should do in advance to prepare for an upcoming exhibition: –
1. Create a reason for people to come to the stand – for example have you developed a new product or major upgrade? Use the trade show to announce it! Create a Press Release about it, make it sound sensational, and push it out to the many free online news platforms relevant for your business, as well as pushing it out to your own social media network and remember to include the exhibition organizers @name. They may do a share or retweet. For example on twitter IBC is @IBCShow.
2. Create an e-mail newsletter Personally I don’t like flashy HTML newsletters as people instantly ignore them as they just reek of spam – keep it short, text based and with a personal touch. Email it to your marketing database announcing you are attending the show and why they should come. Ask them if it is possible to make an appointment and include a link to your online PR describing what you are doing for the show, giving them the choice if they want to learn more rather than a long winded email.
3. Just putting out social media posts saying…. “Hi we are at IBC come and see us” are very ineffective. Give people a reason to come. You need to use alternative content to interest people and potentially get in front of different audiences. Write a short blog about something compelling about your technology and what you plan to demo. Make it educational – whether you are selling on innovation, future or a special show price. Use the blog link within your social media post, ideally with an eye-catching picture.
4. Advert and editorial A small advert in many of the IBC broadcast editions and magazines that are distributed at the show may not cost as much as you think. However, when placing an advert it is often possible to negotiate a free editorial which is actually worth more than the advert itself in terms of engagement – the advert is a means to-an-end. For example, an interview type piece can come across interesting to the reader. I have also tried advertising in the actual trade show guide – unless you have deep pockets and an instantly recognizable major brand, it is very difficult to measure the tangible benefits of this and I would personally spend my money elsewhere.
5. Writing lots of content is a very minimal spend with a big ROI. The content you create for IBC will carry on after the event to drive traffic to your website – unlike your trade show stand which may only get used one! You may wish to use web landing pages and analyze what content works best with marketing tools such as HubSpot. My point is that you don’t need to restrict your content to only a trade show Press Release and a single blog about your demo at the stand.
Other questions I get asked about trade shows: –
a. Should I buy an email a marketing list from companies who claim they have the IBC attendees list? NO! Avoid like the plague. As well as GDPR issues (they will not have opted in to receive emails from you) they are normally completely out-of-date despite the claims.
b. Do web banners work on the trade show web site – NO! Tried it , big fat zero response.
c. Should I give away free pens and things on the stand? Buy a few nice things instead and just give them away to your best customers and best prospects who come and see you. Make them feel special.
d. We have a minimalist stand – Great! But please have “high-level tag lines” on your stand that easily explain to passing people what you do and the benefits. Saying “well if they don’t understand this technical tag line then they are not for us.” WRONG! Remember CEO’s and senior managers who manage the budget are not always technical but would still be interested in your company as someone to do business with. Often I walk around trade shows looking at stands, and 50% of the time I have no clue what they do, despite being technical and in the business, and I just walk on by given there is so much to see.
About Rain Dance – if you need help with your trade show activation for IBC or for your , then please contact us. It’s probably much cheaper then you expect. Check out our for more information including pricing. We can write content for global companies with native English writers. We can write in American English or UK English.