Tips To Identify Your Ideal Customer On The Crowded Trade Show Floor

So you did everything right and now your trade show booth is bustling with the crowd – a dream come true, right? Or is it your worst nightmare? Imagine, there are visitors all over the place, but you aren’t really getting anything out of them, no inquiries, no leads, no over-the-counter sales, no nothing. Yes, the competition is green with envy, congratulations, but it’s not like you are on cloud nine yourself. And all this because you don’t know your ideal customer, and who’s to say that even if they were standing right next to you, you’d notice. Well, there’s always a next time!

Identifying The Ideal Trade Show Customer

Do Your Homework

If you want to be able to identify your ideal customer on the crowded trade show floor, make sure you have the customer persona handy. Make no mistake, a customer persona is not a customer profile. There’s more to a customer than their name and the company they represent. What you need is a detailed, well-researched checklist of sorts, one that you should definitely not leave until the last minute.

 

Here’s what goes into making one:

  • Data you can fetch from the industry
  • Data that your CRM provides you with
  • Data you get to extract from the existing customer base

 

Here’s what it cannot lack:

  • Demographics – right from age and gender to the level of education and the region they inhabit, anything that makes them relevant
  • Objectives and pain points – the ideal customer is at your show, looking for a possible solution. It is only when you know what the problem is that you can offer one. And yes, they are vulnerable. Reach out!
  • Clear-cut distinctions – What does your ideal customer refer to, when on the lookout for information? The internet? Or are they more of a reader, with an avid interest in scouring the industry publications? How about brochures? You sure these won’t end up in the trash can? Get your facts straight!
  • Mode of communication: Are they open to attending a trade show in the first place, or would they rather talk to you over the phone?

 

Here’s what it does:

  • For starters, a customer persona gives you the lowdown on their purchasing behavior
  • Next, it helps you develop a deeper understanding, saving you from beating around the bush
  • And then, it pretty much makes it clear, how to market and more importantly, how not to

Send Clear Signals

For you to identify the ideal customer, they must come your way, to begin with. Don’t make do with subtle hints. They won’t cut through the noise. Only something loud and clear would.

  • Make sure that all your visual elements are spot on. You and we both know that you are out there to address their pain points, but what about your customers? It’s time you got the word out.
  • When you take to social media, try and hit the bull’s eye for once. If they find you relevant online, chances are that the two of you would hit it off instantly at the show.
  • Speak the same language. Right from your marketing collaterals to the graphics being used at the booth, every conceivable content should be full of jargon they comprehend or better still, relate to. So if it’s a millennial who is your ideal customer, you know what to do.

While it’s important to identify the ideal customer, the trick lies in identifying the one who isn’t, so you can save big on time, money and effort and channelize your energies in the right direction.

Stop Networking And Start Building Relationships At Trade Shows: Tips

Trade shows can cost you a lot of money, no doubt, and be time-consuming at the same time. So it’s only natural for you to try and make the most of your participation in one. In fact, you shouldn’t have to think twice before expecting something in return every time someone so much as strikes up a conversation. After all, what good is a trade show if you can’t do what you are there for – networking, right?

Wrong! Every time you make an attempt at networking, you undermine the importance of building something more substantial and meaningful, a relationship, which could go a long way in ensuring your success.

Why Networking At Trade Shows Is A Big No-No?

  • People are not naive. They know exactly why you are reaching out to them. They don’t like being used. Nobody does.
  • You are not the only one who’s trying to forge a connection with them. They would have been to several other booths before they finally show up at yours. They are done collecting business cards, half of which have already found their way to the trash can, and yours won’t stick around for long either. So much for networking!
  • They despise small talk. While they would love to know more about you and your brand, a customary chit-chat won’t do the trick. They expect you to stay in touch after the show and would give you some extra brownie points if you do.

How To Build Relationships At Trade Shows?

  • Ask the right questions – questions that may go beyond the scope of the show or might not have anything to do with your products. As long as you don’t invade their privacy and assure them that it’s not a one-off interaction, they’d have no qualms answering.
  • Be a good listener – it’s only human to think about what you would say next while talking to someone, but that’s not how you build a relationship with anyone, let alone those you meet at a trade show. Listen. Just drop the guard for once, and be all ears.
  • Use the right body language – Nothing’s worse than faking interest in what they have to say. Do everything you can to create a rather inviting atmosphere. Don’t cross your arms or legs, maintain eye contact and do not forget to nod. You know the drill!

How To Nurture The Relationships Post The Shows?

  • Connect with them online. Find a common ground and engage them in engrossing conversations. Comment on their blog posts and invite them to forum discussions.
  • Understand their problem areas and offer a solution. Unsolicited emails and handouts won’t go down well with them, but if you address their problems, they will be thankful. If you don’t offer what could be a potential fix, do go the extra mile and connect them to someone who does.
  • Invite them to non-networking events in the area. Free lectures and seminars should do.

Remember, you can’t force people to do business with you, but if you build a relationship with them, you won’t have to; as simple as that!

The Importance Of Visual Elements While Branding Your Booth

Remember that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” There’s a reason why it hasn’t really sunk into oblivion. And you, as an exhibitor, must not forget what a picture can do, for all you know, there’s always a next time – a show where a picture or two could be the difference between success and failure, just saying!  

Visual Elements And Branding Of Trade Show Booth

Words do have their impact, no doubt, but a picture sticks around for longer. So if you opt for a couple of visual elements at your next trade show, chances are that the audience would be much more receptive to what you have to say. In fact, if you were to pass on handouts or leaflets, which would anyway go into the trash can, you could never get them to pay attention. On the other hand, if there are some pictures to look at or videos to watch, they’ll be all eyes (and of course, ears).

Why Are They Important?

Believe it or not, but your audience is always on the lookout for something new, and if you don’t offer a breath of fresh air, somebody else would, and well, they won’t mind making a detour. They are done the reading. They won’t anymore. If you want them to stay past the elevator pitch, give in. And it’s not like they have an aversion to information. They don’t. They are more than open to the idea of learning more about you, your brand and the products you offer. That being said, they don’t have the time to. So either you make a move, or they will.

What Are The Benefits?

You mean apart from the fact that your booth would be a quite a crowd puller?

  • Visual elements resonate well with the audience. They get your message loud and clear and find out all there’s to know about your brand.
  • These elements help increase your brand recall value. What the audience gets to see stays with them for a while. So if you were to give them a follow-up call a day after, you wouldn’t have to try too hard to jog their memory.
  • Pictures, videos, and graphics are known to bring out emotions, laying the foundation for trust – something that every brand vies for, don’t you?
  • A trade show can get pretty competitive, and you have no choice but to stand out. You can, but only if you have a story to tell. And that’s exactly what visuals do for you. Did we tell you they are great storytellers?
  • The right kind of graphics and a well-thought-of placement strategy will leave the audience asking for more. They’ll either happily give your their email IDs, hoping to get more information in their mailbox or head straight to your website. It’s a win-win!

What Kind Of Visuals Work?

While it may be tempting to put together some moving pieces and throw in random colors, there’s more to getting your visuals right than meets the eye. Make no mistake, unless you know your audience, you won’t be able to step into their shoes, failing which your visuals would simply fall flat, causing you more harm than good.

  • Hit the bull’s eye – Even if there’s no supporting content, the visuals should stand out, on their own. A picture of your team, your logo, any of your bestsellers, anything that warrants a glance and doesn’t take long for the audience to connect the dots.
  • Weave a story – Tie one element to another, and make sure there are no loose ends.
  • Get your facts straight – Comic sans is a big no-no if you are a pharma company. Know your own business, before the audience gets to know you.

And yes, like everything else that has anything to do with marketing, visuals too should pass the litmus test for you to know that you have not been using the wrong ones all this while.

Loyalty Program Ideas That You Can Use At The Next Trade Show

As a business, you are always on the lookout for ways to introduce your brand and products to thousands of potential customers, and that’s the reason you participate in trade shows in the first place, right? Well, the next time you are at one, make the most of it – think of an engagement platform to ensure that the customers keep coming back to you, long after the show is over – think of a loyalty program.

Loyalty Program Ideas for Trade Show

  • On-the-spot Registration: A run-of-the-mill idea for sure, but what’s the harm in trying if it works. Get your guests to register as loyalty members, right there, at your booth. If they do, voila, you have your customer database ready. You have what you were looking for – their phone numbers. Send them discounts and promotions and turn your guests into customers for life.

 

Guests, most of them, come with the expectation of buying, and if your products are worth it, they’d happily spend some more time at your booth, contemplating the purchase.

It’s of course up to you how you stimulate their senses with colours, textures, tastes and sounds, and get them to stay past the elevator pitch and engage in engrossing conversations.  

  • A Modern-day Twist: Your guests are done with the old “dip-in-the-fishbowl” trick, and there’s no reason for you to hold on to it. Embrace technology and move on. Your guests already have. They’d rather play a round of raffle on your tablet, and pick a voucher or a freebie there and then. And if you were thinking of maintaining an excel spreadsheet, literally copying the contact details off the business cards, think again. With gamification, it’s now easier than ever to add more and more guests as customers to your database. Not that the business cards are a big no-no, but the lesser the better.

 

  • Generate Instant Buzz: Have a tablet handy, and when the guests come in, encourage them to take selfies and inadvertently promote your trade show booth – any picture they share with their friends and family could help you reach out to thousands of people who did not make it to the show. And what do they get in return? A voucher, a small discount or even a freebie – anything and everything that gives them yet another reason to be your brand ambassador.

 

If possible, have them include a pre-set link to your business, so as to maximize the reach of their social media post

Even some of the passive guests, those who don’t actually step into your booth, could be your biggest assets, if they agree to click a picture and post online. Again, an offer could earn you their loyalty.

  • Customize Your Offers: Use beacons if you have to, but always figure out a way to find out which all products are grabbing the guests’ attention. And if you can get your hands on individual data, there’s nothing like it. Use it to your advantage. Send on-the-spot offers in tandem with their product choice.

 

Something like, “Hey! Here’s an exclusive offer on the rug you were looking at. Buy Now!” would ensure that they sit up and take notice.

Trade shows can be quite overwhelming, but with the right loyalty program(s), you could cut through the noise with ease. You get what you want, and the guests have something to look forward to. It’s a win-win!

Projection Mapping For Your Next Trade Show Booth: Things To Know

Have you ever looked at a trade show through the visitors’ eyes? Boring, right? Way too much information and no respite. While you are out there to make new contacts and generate leads, the visitors are looking for something more than just being bombarded with information. On second thoughts, they can make do with the information, but only if it has that “wow” factor attached to it. The question is: how? The answer lies in Projection Mapping!

Projection Mapping For Your Trade Show Booth

What It Is?

It’s a technology, one that you could use to project objects onto a surface, which can be just about anything, right from a car to a huge building. The best part is that you are free to choose the level of complexity involved. Looking for something simple? Go with indoor stage effects. And if you are okay with something relatively complex, ask the exhibition stand designer make the necessary arrangements for projecting the images onto buildings and industrial landscapings.

 

What Is The Purpose?

Ever tried your hand at flat screen projecting? Not so impressive, right? That’s when projection mapping comes into the picture; it not only fills the void but also puts technology to some good use, turning common objects into interactive, 2D or 3D displays.

 

What Are The Benefits?

Bringing your brand to life is not as difficult as it seems. With dynamic video display, you can do so with ease.

Gone are the days when projecting an image onto almost any surface was a far-fetched dream. Thanks to projection mapping, it is now very much possible.

The same old graphics are not really awe-inspiring. Mapping, of course, is a good alternate, one that catches the visitors’ fancy, giving them yet another reason to come your way.

Incorporating Mapping Into Your Trade Show Booth

Depending on your industry, the kind of budget you have and the show you are to participate in, these are some of the ideas you can toy with. Options galore; take your pick.

  • Projection over a car:  Any such projection could do wonders if you exhibit at auto shows. Your company logo could be projected, giving away the impression that you probably got it painted. With the right kind of technology at use, it would be quite difficult for the visitors to figure out that they are merely looking at a digital projection.

 

  • A stage backdrop: Contemplating a product demonstration? Give the backdrop a unique touch with projection mapping. Have invited over a speaker to share their thoughts and insights with the visitors? Again, mapping could grab the visitors’ attention.

 

  • Artwork onto walls: A sure shot way of standing out from the crowd, and getting noticed. This could be a part of a well-thought-of theme, aimed at making the visitors feel as if they have walked into a museum or an art gallery, and have a lot to look forward to.

 

  • A 360-degree experience: Projection mapping can help you deliver an immersive audio-visual experience. Projected content, 3D illusions, preferably colorful and not monochrome, and a mirrored floor and ceiling should do the trick. The idea is to create a striking, infinity room-like experience, one that the visitors are tempted to share online, generating instant buzz for your exhibit.