Out of all the chaos and clamor of trade shows, some of the most important business opportunities can arise that will set you apart from your competitors and connect you with potential clients. In some cases, the amount of preparation required and indecisiveness over what marketing materials to utilize can paralyze expo invitees and cause them to forego the absolutely priceless and vital experience of attending these shows within their respective industry.
These are the top five marketing materials we’d recommend for anyone planning on attending an expo or trade show as a representative of their brand or company:
1. Business Cards
This one may almost seem like a cliché, but it’s still essential to bring a well branded business card that can provide visitors with your complete contact information in a matter of seconds. Due to the short-lived nature of expos, you can’t realistically expect to share a URL to a “digital business card” as an alternative.
The printed business card also boasts the unique advantage of longevity since it requires no further digital searching to get the information needed. This can make all the difference in terms of reaching trade show attendees further down the line since many save business cards as a method of bookmarking their favorite vendors.
Therefore, the physical printed business card is a key component to any successful trade show attendee. These come in handy in a variety of situations, whether an interested client is briefly dropping by or if you’re ironing out the final details of a partnership with a former competitor. A stylish, well-branded business card can go a long way for any brand at a trade show.
2. Eye-Catching Banners and Posters
Business cards wouldn’t be good for anything if you weren’t able to attract potential clients and competitors to your booth in the first place. Spicing up the standardized expo booth in a creative way with a set of banners or posters can elevate the trade show experience and make it one that’s truly memorable for visitors.
Don’t be too text heavy on these banners. Keep it simple and memorable with bulleted highlights about your business’ offerings at most. To elaborate upon these key points, opt for longer form print options like brochures or newsletters.
3. Notepads or Sticky Notes
What better way to attract the attention of potential customers than including your branding and contact info at the header or footer of the notepads they use to take notes as they’re going booth to booth? This is the only surefire way to guarantee your business and contact info are included on potential customers’ trade show notes, assuming they get the notepad in time to repurpose it as their trade show notepad.
Even if they don’t use it immediately, this option nearly guarantees your contact info will be seen by the holder at some point down the line. Plus, sticky notes are commonly used as a quick method for jotting down contact information at expos, so your branding and contact info could be spread out even further into a potential network of clients who could be looking for your contact information.
4. Loyalty Coupons or Cards
Want to make sure you give potential clients and trade show goers a reason to consider doing business with you? Give them an exclusive coupon code or punch card that can be used on one or several of your products or services. The key is to make sure your promo materials, whether they’re barcodes, punch cards or coupon codes, seem to offer an exclusive deal that is special to just that trade show.
For example, a 10% off purchase total coupon could be an item could be enough to persuade a client to try your product before the comparable products of your competitors at the trade show. Another option would be establishing a loyalty program which gives customers deals or free items for every 5th or 10th visit.
By designing specialized editions of our business cards or postcards, it is possible to create cards that can be used as punch cards or code cards unique to your brand. By utilizing Conquest Graphics' variable data printing, each of the cards could even possess a unique QR code, barcode or numerical identifier that customers can then input to get discounts on your website. The unique codes and numbers could also function to identify the customer holding the card, which would ultimately allow for there to be a more centrally controlled, highly personalized discount tracking system.
These kinds of incentives will draw your trade show visitors back to your brand or product as they’re making future purchasing decisions for their company or themselves.
5. Promotional Items or “Swag”
Promotional items can come in an ever-increasing number of shapes and sizes. Ranging from branded cinch bags to sunglasses to beach balls and more, these items typically don’t fit the bill for everyday business items that many others are already bringing to trade shows. These items work to reinforce a positive feeling when their users see your brand. Not to mention, these items stand out to attendees because of their being free.
While “swag” giveaways are becoming an increasingly popular thing at trade shows, it’s important to decide on an item that reflects the spirit of your brand or product. Customizing your “swag” with your brand or logo ensures the longevity of your customer’s contact with your brand since they will be seeing your brand every time they use the free giveaway they received from you. Customers will remember the fun item they received from you for free, and they will continue to associate feelings of fun and good deals with your brand on into the future.
Specific Products for Trade Shows & Expos
Printed Materials for Conference or Trade Show Follow-Up
One of the most commonly overlooked, but extremely vital elements to an effective print strategy for trade shows and conferences is that of the follow-up mailed piece.
Whether you choose to follow up with a short customized note written by hand on your own custom designed greeting cards or with a variably printed postcard that incorporates personalized text to give attract the attention of each recipient with their personalized details and messaging, you should always be sure to send something to the group of contacts that gave you their addresses during the conference or trade show.
This kind of follow-up will serve to strengthen and improve the quality of the business relationships and partnerships you may have formed through the trade show or conference since your recipients will see that your conversations while at the conference meant something to you, or at least enough to justify getting in touch with them again via a printed medium following the conference.