Trade Show Competition

Standing Out From the Trade Show Competition

What is the number one reason companies send their teams to trade shows as attendees? To see new products and services available in the industry. In 2018, 92% of attendees stated they were looking to purchase new products

With the vast majority of attendees searching for the next best product, trade shows offer a great opportunity to find hot, qualified leads. After collecting these valuable leads, effective post-show marketing plays an instrumental role in the number of deals your sales team will close. And you are racing against the other exhibitors to win each prospect’s business. 

Here are three ways you can stand out from your competition after the show:    

#1  Relevance 

Relevance is key to closing deals. Let’s say two salespeople call you after an event. Consider which of these two conversations you would prefer:

  1. The salesperson starts from scratch and makes you recap your earlier conversation
  2. The salesperson remembers your individual situation and conversation you shared at the event

Very few people would answer with #1. Most people do not want to recap conversations or what product they need. This only wastes everyone’s time. In today's digital age, people expect personalized follow up. That's why your post-show marketing and selling must target a specific need for each lead. During the show, make sure to question each lead on his/her problem and urgency, as well as record the responses. What’s the pain point? How soon must they resolve their problem? Once you understand these two areas, you can reengage with more relevance. 

Most other companies will reach out with generic emails and cold calling. But a targeted pitch will show prospects that you understand their individual problems and care about their company's success. Even the smallest amount of personalization and relevance will help your team stand out from your competitors. 

Email Automation

#2  Customized Automated Emails

Many companies use automated emails as part of their post-show marketing strategy. While emails are a great marketing tool, the average office worker receives approximately 121 emails daily. With the sheer volume of incoming emails, your prospects might overlook or immediately delete your auto email. Yet, with a few personal touches you can significantly increase the impact of your emails. Personalizing email content tends to increase click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%. Thankfully, email marketing tools and a mobile lead capture solution can help you apply these suggestions in an easy and simple manner.

Here are a few best practices to customize your emails: 

  • Use names. According to a study by Brain Research, our brain reacts in a unique way to hearing our name, and it triggers higher levels of brain activity. Basically, people like their names and are more likely to engage with material that uses their name. This small change will help personalize the email, as well as reduce the likelihood of your email being marked as spam. 
  • Mention the specific product(s) they expressed interest in. This touches on the first bullet point, relevance. By providing information on a product a prospect asked about at the booth, you are giving that prospect a chance to act. For example, you might provide a link to the product, or maybe a video highlighting key capabilities. Target the pain point and the auto email will become personalized. 
  • Personalize the subject line. According to a study by Campaign Monitor, using personalized subject lines makes your email 26% more likely to be opened. Your personalized subject line might read, “Hey, [First Name], Thanks for Stopping By!” Or maybe, “Hey, [First Name], Here’s the Info on [Product] You Requested.” If you can persuade the lead to actually click on your email—rather than putting it in the trash bin—your email is immediately more effective. A 26% increase in open rate is certainly nothing to scoff at. 

These adjustments to your auto email sequence will engage more leads and help you stand out against other exhibitors. Your personalized email will look that much better against a generic “thank you” email. 


#3 — Offer Valuable Deliverables 

As part of your post-show marketing efforts, you want to stand out as an expert in your field. 71% of consumers are more likely to buy a product/service if they recognize the brand name. 

Why? Because they trust that brand and consider them the expert. The Amazons, Apples, Googles, and Nikes of the world have established themselves in their various industries as the top leaders. As a result, consumers are more likely to purchase from them. Not only that, but many consumers are also willing to spend more to buy that brand. 

To establish yourself as an expert and as a recognizable brand name, you will need to prove you have valuable input. Sending prospects quality deliverables—especially on subjects related to their pain points—will help you stand out as an expert. You can include a deliverable as a link or PDF attachment in your auto email or email sequence, as well as send it directly during a phone conversation. 

A valuable deliverable will:

  • Benefit the prospect
  • Illustrate your knowledge on the subject
  • Include a call to action
  • Establish yourself as an expert
  • Be carefully written, crafted, and designed

Remember that a poor deliverable will scare leads away rather than incentivize them. So make sure your deliverables are hitting on all the bullet points listed above. With quality deliverables, you will rise above the pack and elevate your brand—and hopefully close deals in the process. 

Ultimately, there are more ways to stand out post-show, but these three areas are essential and simple ways to start. Reaching out with relevance, using customized auto emails, and sending valuable deliverables will level up your post-show engagement and put you ahead of your competitors. 

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