One of the most effective ways for tech companies to boost business, foster relationships, generate new leads, and increase brand reach involves attending trade shows, expos, and other live events. Of course, you’ll want to take all steps possible to maximize the return on your efforts. Carefully planning before a technology events can help you get the most for your money and time.
1. Plan Well in Advance
Well before you’re on site and setting up, you should spend time making sure your booth is eye-catching and on-brand. You’ll want a sleek, attractive and professional setup that allows you to demo products and have productive, comfortable conversations with current and potential clients. Because your booth should accurately convey your brand’s image and message, it’s always worth your time to consult with professional event planners that can help design and setup your booth.
Similarly, planning is important when selecting which trade shows to attend. Prioritize events where you’ll receive the best ratio of attendance to cost and whose focus is most in line with your company’s vision and offerings. For example, while there are tons of different technology events all around the world, companies in the RFID and IoT realm have found an event like RFID Journal LIVE! to be one of the best trade shows for generating leads and boosting brand awareness. No matter what event you choose, though, be sure to register early to potentially save money on fees and to ensure you have a booth positioned in the optimal space.
2. Find On-Brand Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd
Most booths at the event will have banners, signs, and other types of displays – so what can you do to help your booth engage more visitors and potential customers? Live demonstrations, giveaways, video presentations and unique signage and promotions can often help you stand out. For example, a massive cutout of a company spokesperson or mascot that attendees can take selfies with can be a fun way to draw people to your booth. A cutting-edge technique that’s increasing in popularity at trade shows involves virtual reality demos, which are a very engaging way to get visitors to your booth and interested in what you have to offer.
3. Simple is Almost Always Better
Tech companies too often get bogged down in presenting the technical details of their products. While you certainly want to engage with curious visitors about those details, it’s important to remember that most attendees will only spend a few seconds at your booth before they decide to move on. To effectively build your brand, you need to give your visitors a good idea of what your company or product does in a matter of moments. So, your booth messaging should be simple, easy to understand, and concise. For many people, all they need to know is what you can do for them and their business, not each minute detail of how your products work. The same is true for your booth design: focus on clean, simple décor that is in line with your company’s brand and aesthetic.
4. Use Social Media Before, During, and After Technology Events
Posting on your various social media platforms about your upcoming live event will help you connect with people who are nearby or were already planning to attend. Live tweeting or sharing snaps or live feed updates from the event can help draw more people and can help you connect with those who are already attending the event. Be sure to use the right hash tags for your event and industry when posting. For example, attendees at RFID Journal LIVE! are encouraged to use #rfidlive. Keep using those hash tags after the event when you share photos and stories about your experience. This will help you connect with other attendees who were interested in your booth.
5. Lead Generation Should be Your Primary Focus
You’ll be dealing with a broad range of attendees at technology events. Many, however, will have the ability to make a purchasing decision about your company’s offerings. Make it easy for them to connect with your company after the event by offering email newsletter signups, business cards, a hash tag unique to your company, product brochures with contact information, and anything else that will remind potential customers of what you have to offer.
6. Take Advantage of Networking Opportunities
Developing personal relationships is incredibly important for B2B tech companies, and live events are the perfect place to do just that. Mixers, meals, and other socialization events during your live show can help you connect with other businesses and their buyers. You should make a point of visiting all the other booths throughout the course of the event and having someone from your company present at each of the various socialization opportunities.
7. Follow Up with Your Leads and Contacts Shortly After the Event
Too often, in the exhaustion that can come after a long and exciting trade show, you and your staff may need a few days to recharge. However, you need to make contact with new leads sooner rather than later. You need to capitalize on their memories of your booth and conversations while they are still fresh in mind. Add your new leads to your contact list and make a point of following up individually with those who expressed real interest.
With careful planning and execution, trade shows and other live events can be incredibly beneficial for growing your company. If all of this seems overwhelming, though, always remember that help is available. Forward Vision specializes in planning for technology events, and we’ll be happy to help you with everything from branding to booth appearance.