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1 (+2 bonus) 21 TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR MANUFACTURING TRADESHOW ROI 2015 FATHOM All rights reserved.

2 TIPS TO MAXIMIZE ROI AT MANUFACTURING TRADESHOWS A BRIEF INTRODUCTION Tradeshows are a popular sales, marketing and branding effort in the Manufacturing world. While many industries have moved away from spending money on setting up booths, most manufacturers continue to tout tradeshows as an effective way to get out their brand name, showcase new products, nurture relationships with existing customers, and build relations with new prospects. What hasn t changed in 20 years is the need to prove that money spent on tradeshows turns into revenue for your company. Here I offer you 21 (+2 bonus) ways to maximize ROI at your upcoming tradeshow. 01 PRESS RELEASE Creating a press release to be distributed online is essential. It should include the basics like keywords that are relevant to your products or services, along with a link back to your website. But it also should address: 1. If you re exhibiting at the tradeshow, give the booth number and tell attendees what they can expect to see from you. 2. If you will demonstrate new products. Are experts at your booth showcasing your widgets? Give prospective customers a reason to stop by. 3. If you re available to meet with the media. Trade publications and local reporters assigned to cover the show may look for exhibitors with whom they can connect. Make it easy for Reporter X to set up a time to chat. 4. If you re unveiling a new product at the tradeshow. A great way to generate buzz for your company and to pique the interest of current and prospective customers. 5. If someone from your company is speaking at the show. Many shows have a conference component, so if a salesperson or the VP of product development will be discussing industry topics, be sure to let your audience know. 6. I caution you to limit tchotchkes, but they re pretty much a guarantee at most tradeshows. If your company is giving anything away for a promo or holding a drawing, make sure the giveaway is something of value and relevant to your company. Too many items end up in trash cans. Tchotchkes can guarantee you booth visitors who come by to grab your wind-up toys, but you re there to get qualified leads. 7. Offer a discount code unique to your company for anyone in your industry who might want to attend the tradeshow. My journalism professor used to say it like this: Tell em what you re gonna tell em, tell em, tell em what you told em, then shut up. To say it a little nicer: write the press release telling readers that you re attending the tradeshow, tell them what to expect from your company, then stop. 02 HOME PAGE CTA Create a noticeable call-to-action on the home page of your website that tells visitors current customers and prospects to visit your tradeshow booth. You can include the discount code from the press release here, too, to incentivize attendees to check out your products in action or be wowed by your latest product in person.

3 TIPS TO MAXIMIZE ROI AT MANUFACTURING TRADESHOWS CONTINUED 03 USE PAID SEARCH Begin bidding on tradeshow keywords with your PPC budget. While the focus of this PPC campaign is to merely connect your company s name with that of the tradeshow, you ll want those who do click through to put their address into a form on the landing page. So offer something of value to get their a whitepaper, guide to the tradeshow, your industry newsletter, etc. Make sure all copy is tailored to tradeshow attendees with clear calls-toaction. 04 BLOG! Write a blog post about your attendance at the tradeshow before you go, and write another post once you return wrapping up the event. This gives you fresh content on your website, chances to plug in relevant keywords, and showcases your industry expertise. 05 SPREAD THE LOVE Circulate those blog posts on your company s social media channels. B2B marketers should focus on LinkedIn, as this is a great place to show industry connections what s going on with your company. Have your employees especially salespeople post the blog to their personal LinkedIn pages, too. 06 GET IT ALL ON VIDEO Is your company spokesperson speaking to an audience or conducting interviews with media at the tradeshow? Record it on video and post everything to your company s YouTube channel. If you don t have a YouTube channel, create one today. This valuable tool isn t just for teenagers who want to watch skateboarding dogs. 07 SAVE THE TREES At every tradeshow and conference I ve attended, I inevitably walk away from some booths with loose papers that end up in the hotel trash can at the end of the day. Stop giving literature out to every passerby. If someone is a qualified prospect, get their address and offer to send them all the information they ll need after the show so they don t have to carry it. And so it doesn t end up in the trash can. Best of all: you re building your list. 08 RELATIONSHIP BUILDING Are company partners or vendors attending the tradeshow? Stop by their booths and introduce yourself. Putting a face to the name gives you the opportunity to strengthen your company s relationships.

4 09 DON T FORGET THOSE WHO GOT YOU HERE Schedule time to meet with existing customers at your tradeshow booth. A bonus tip: schedule time to meet with prospective customers at the same time. Many times your happy existing customers can be a natural selling tool for prospects. 10 IT S TIME TO BREAK BREAD If you have an list of qualified prospects, host a breakfast before the tradeshow kicks off to discuss a topic of interest in your industry. If you advertise in an industry trade publication, consider asking the publisher to co-sponsor the breakfast for additional publicity. This is a great way to establish your company as an industry thought leader. 11 FIND OUT WHO S ATTENDING If a list of attendees is available prior to the tradeshow, check to see if any members of the press will be in attendance. If a list isn t available, a quick Google search may show you which media outlets are attending or writing about the show. Distribute your press release to that media list, as well as through PRNewswire, Businesswire, or PRWeb. 12 MIND THE MEDIA Create a press kit for journalists, editors or bloggers attending the tradeshow. Buck the traditional trend of a paper press kit and place everything on a convenient and easy-to-carry USB drive. Be sure to include your (brief) company overview, latest press releases, product data sheets, and company spokesperson contact information. 13 COORDINATE WITH YOUR MARKETING TEAM Most booths will have some sort of tchotchke, from bubble gum and stress balls to branded ink pens and flash drives. Take heed, however: Don t spend a lot of money on trinkets; your ideal prospects are looking for solutions rather than tchotchkes. If you re giving away free products, be sure to let everyone know in the Advance Show Guides distributed to attendees to help drive more traffic to your booth. Also, work with your marketing team to determine appropriate presentations, slideshows and/or videos for display at your booth. 14 GOT MOVING EQUIPMENT? If you have a remote-controlled truck zooming around your booth, hopefully you re at an auto or construction show. Otherwise, make sure that any moving gear at your booth enhances your products or services, not distracts. Moving equipment can be a definite draw to your booth; just make sure it makes sense.

5 15 TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET, THAT IS THE QUESTION Whether at a tradeshow or conference, many attendees are likely using Twitter to communicate with others and to share with their followers anything of importance. Whether you re tweeting live from the exhibitor s floor or inside a session, be sure to use the show s designated #hashtag so other attendees can keep up with your posts. Twitter can be a great note-keeping tool to help jog your memory when it s time for a blog post recap of the event. Best of all? If you keep up with chatter from the hashtag, you may find that a prospect is seeking information via Twitter. If you have the answer to that question, you may have found a new customer. *Want more Twitter insight? Check out my extended Twitter tips on page 5 16 ON THE SUBJECT OF VIDEO Any product demonstrations, customer testimonials, interviews, or visuals about new services offered that you can play on video loop at your tradeshow booth will help enhance your prospect s experience. It is also likely to draw additional people to your booth. 17 HAVE LIST, MUST SEND If you ve been collecting addresses through a lead nurturing campaign, now is the time to share with your customer list that you re attending the tradeshow or conference. Consider offering a discount to attend the show as an incentive for visiting your booth. Invite current and prospective customers to your booth for a demonstration of your products and services. 18 KEEP YOUR HEAD UP! When manning your company s tradeshow or conference booth, do not sit with your head two inches from your phone answering s or texting. Anyone in the booth should be walking around, talking to passersby, engaged and approachable. Too often when strolling tradeshow aisles, you see more than one person sitting in their company s booth on their phone. It s a put-off. 19 MORE BLOGGING Here s another blog post idea for you: interview other tradeshow attendees, speakers, influencers, etc. This is a great way to show thought leadership on your website to prospective customers and others in your industry. 20 SNAP, SNAP, SNAP PHOTOS Break up content on your blog with pictures from the event. Showcase your team greeting people at your booth and photos from within the sessions on your blog and all social feeds. On each of your social media channels, be sure to use the tradeshow or conference hashtag so that those searching will find your photos and other content.

6 21 GOALS = GREAT Keep your staff engaged and focus on specific goals throughout the tradeshow: number of qualified leads, prospects, appointments with existing customers, etc. Send any potential leads to your sales team for follow-up, post-show, along with insightful notes as to why you deemed those worthwhile leads CALLED AND WANTS ITS QR CODE BACK If you want people to follow you on Twitter, put your Twitter handle on your tradeshow display. Same goes for any other social media channel, from Facebook to Instagram: don t hide it in a QR Code. 23 SAY THANK YOU After all leads are entered into your CRM, be sure to follow with a thank you for stopping by your booth, and to reiterate any information on products/services that are of interest to them. *MORE TWEETING TIPS The key to tweeting live from a conference or tradeshow is to tweet content that is of value to anyone interested in learning what s happening at the conference or tradeshow. Specifically at conferences where different sessions are happening at once, people in Session A may want to read what the speaker in Session B is saying. They ll search for the conference hashtag to get the information. If your company is exhibiting at a tradeshow or conference, be sure to tweet when your product demonstrations will be held, as well as a full-color photo of your booth and what people can find if they stop by to chat. You can also tweet photos of opening and closing ceremonies, or demonstrations at other exhibitor booths. Just be sure to use the conference or tradeshow #hashtag. That s the only way unless someone is already following you on Twitter that others will find your tweets. Benefits to Tweeting at a conference: Share what you re learning with your followers and the world Take notes during informative sessions Read tweets from other sessions you couldn t attend Attract more Twitter followers by using the conference hashtag To-Dos while tweeting from a conference: Decide who s tweeting. Decide if you (or employees) should live tweet from the corporate Twitter account or their own personal account. If using a personal account, be sure they include your company s Twitter handle in some of their tweets. Use the conference hashtag. Others who may not yet follow you but who are either attending the conference or are interested in learning what s happening in the sessions will search for the conference hashtag. Using the hashtag allows them to find your tweets with a simple Twitter search. Expect to be tweeted and retweeted. Twitter is a popular tool used at conferences, and you can expect that anyone following the conference hashtag may either favorite or retweet your tweets. And, if you re a presenter at a conference, expect that you will be quoted in tweets, too. Give credit where credit is due. Most presenters will give their own Twitter handles at the start of their sessions. It s common courtesy to attribute any summarization of their discussion to their Twitter handle. Properly begin your Tweets. If, in an effort to attribute a quote to someone, you start off the tweet with symbol, only people who follow you and that person will see the tweet. If you want the tweet to be visible to all your existing Twitter followers, start the tweet with a period before the

7 W O U L D Y O U L I K E M O R E TRADESHOW TIPS? R E A C H O U T T O J e ff S o b i e r a j j s o b i e r a f a t h o m d e l i v e r s. c o m F a t h o m D e l i v e r s. c o m

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