While digital marketing is one of the most common and effective marketing strategies out there today, there are traditional alternatives that can still be quite impactful. Trade Show marketing is one of those tools, with the power to bring enormous results to businesses in any industry, including cannabis and CBD.
Trade Show marketing is the strategic practice of using an industry event to introduce a business, product, or service. It’s a great way to bring awareness to a business, gaining connections and increasing conversions. Trade show marketing is an effective technique for companies, no matter what industry they’re in.
The COVID Affect
Unfortunately, digital marketing hasn’t been the only roadblock for trade shows. The COVID-19 pandemic essentially put a halt to the industry networking events. When the world locked down, trade shows were stopped indefinitely while digital marketing took the reins.
In the current climate, trade shows are either virtual or beginning to start up in person again, albeit with restrictions due to the pandemic. While your business has likely taken a deep dive into mostly digital marketing throughout the pandemic, it’s finally time to once-again consider trade show marketing.
As industry events become more and more common, businesses that aren’t involved will be at a disadvantage. After a period of social distancing and virtual everything, in-person events have a new ambiance. People desire to meet together again, to see things in person, and to experience one-on-one connection. In-person trade shows are once again becoming an effective and desirable way to gain awareness and make connections.
Here’s what you need to know as you prepare to showcase your business at trade shows during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Being Mindful of Restrictions
If you’re venturing back into the world of in-person trade shows or entering it for the first time, you’re going to need to prepare for things to be a little different. Expect multiple COVID restrictions at your event. Restrictions could include a smaller than usual number of attendees, less people allowed to help at your booth, possible mask requirements, and maybe even proof of vaccination.
Before you start planning for the event, check on the COVID restrictions that are going to be in place. Make sure that you will be able to meet all requirements and follow the restrictions of the trade show before you commit to attending. If you have confirmed your company’s ability to follow the restrictions, you’re ready to prepare for a high-quality, effective trade show marketing strategy.
Optimize Lead Generation
A huge part of getting results while showcasing a business, product, or service at a trade show, is standing out. Most trade shows have a combination of popular booths that generate numerous leads and booths without many visitors. In order to make each trade show as effective as possible, it’s important to make decisions that draw people in and generate multiple leads. Understanding best practices for optimizing lead generation can help you create an effective trade show marketing strategy.
● Set Goals Beforehand
Setting goals for the trade show is essential. Without goals, it’s not easy to create an effective plan. You need to know your purpose in order to design your steps.
With trade show marketing, your entire strategy is going to depend on your specific goals. Everything that you do with your booth and presentation will be with the purpose of bringing you closer to your goals. Potential trade show marketing goals include increasing sales, gaining more traffic to your website, and boosting your brand awareness.
When you decide on your goal, you will be able to design steps to help you get there. Break your goal down into small, doable steps that will take you further down the path towards them. These steps will be the foundation for how you approach the trade show.
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● Make Your Booth Visually Appealing and Effective
No matter what your goal is, the entire purpose of the trade show is to showcase your business. That means you need to design a booth that is going to be visually appealing and will be effective in moving you towards your goals.
When choosing the space for your booth, make sure it is in a popular and well-traveled location. Most event spaces have areas that are highly trafficked and make a great place to grab people’s attention. Keep in mind that you may have to pay more for a better location, however, if you do things right, you should end up with a high ROI.
As you design your booth, make sure it is inviting for people. Keep the front open and make it welcoming so that people feel comfortable stopping to talk with you. Also make sure and design your booth space in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. It should be warm and inviting, and should also be decorated with materials that really showcase your business.
Be Clear and Consistent
Make sure that your business’ branding and message is clear. You want people to be drawn to your booth instead of others’ and to feel a connection with what you are putting out. Keeping your goal in mind, design a visually appealing booth that is going to reach the heart of your visitors and get them to take your call to action.
Also, make sure that you or your team is available to answer questions, engage with your visitors, and walk them further down the path towards your goals. Ensuring that everyone on your team understands the goals and is ready to run your booth and engage with visitors effectively, is an important part of optimizing your lead generation at a trade show.
Marketing at a trade show can provide you with a number of great opportunities. Just remember to follow COVID regulations, set specific goals for the event, and design a strategy and booth that will help lead you towards your goals.
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