Getting noticed at a trucking industry trade show is critical. If you aren’t getting noticed and driving traffic to your booth, you’re missing an opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with the people who actually buy your product.
Let’s look at a few ways you can build some buzz and get noticed at a trucking industry trade show.
One of the best ways to build some buzz around your event presence is to build a pre-show marketing campaign. You need attendees to know where you’ll be, what special events you’re sponsoring at the show, breakout sessions, etc.
For a big trade show like The Great American Trucking Show, a large section of your audience will be in attendance. To make sure they are seeing your ads, and to reinforce your presence, you need to get in front of these audiences as much as possible.
Building a multi-faceted campaign can help you build and strengthen awareness leading up to the show.
A pre-show marketing campaign should include ads in relevant industry print publications and online, such as the display network. You can often purchase lists from show management to send emails and direct mail as well.
This is a great opportunity to let people know what you’re doing at the show. For instance, if you are unveiling a new product line, providing free demos in truck parking, or featuring a celebrity at your booth, your pre-show ads are a great way to let people know.
A pre-show marketing campaign is great. However, not everyone is going to remember your booth number by the time the show rolls around.
You need to be able to drive awareness on the show floor.
Think of it like this. An owner-operator is walking around on the show floor. Maybe he’s seen your banner ads online, but maybe he hasn’t. Either way, he is totally unaware that you’re exhibiting. He looks up, taking in the experience, and he sees a big banner hanging from the ceiling. It lists your brand and your location, so he decides you’re his next stop.
Trade shows can be overwhelming. There are a lot of things to see, tons of people, and it can be incredibly loud. It’s like sensory overload. By utilizing sponsorships such as physical banners, floor plan ads, or area sponsorships, you are giving attendees simple, constant reminders about your presence and location.
Sponsorships aren’t all signs. You can get creative in how you raise attention for your booth.
Some sponsorships allow you to highlight some of the bigger events happening at your booth or at truck parking. If you’re holding a drawing, having special guests, or hosting product demos at truck parking, you can use additional sponsorships to attract attendees. This can be especially effective in high traffic areas, such as the lobby or food and recreational areas.
Social media is a particularly powerful tool. Regardless of your industry and audience segment, a sizable portion of the people who buy your product are using social media. It’s just the way things are now.
That being said, most trade shows and big events incorporate social media to some extent. More often than not, trade shows will use unique hashtags or create events on Facebook to help make attendees and exhibitors part of an online, social media community.
Marketers and recruiters have to be part of this conversation.
Using a trade show’s hashtag is a great way to get free exposure. Whatever you’re doing, whether it’s something big at truck parking or even as small as giving away free t-shirts at your booth, you can let people know. As people search the hashtag, they can exclusively see the posts that have used the hashtags. These same posts will show up in your follower’s normal news feed stream.
Finding unique ways to engage attendees is important to having a successful on-site experience.
Exhibiting at a trade show is complicated. You can have a number of different goals you need to accomplish, but they all require one thing: visitors at your booth. Whether you are building brand awareness or generating leads, driving visitors to your booth is your key to success.