In this ever-changing world of business, great new ways to market your company are emerging with a multitude of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Although a wonderful way to attract potential new customers, there is still nothing better than the actual face-to-face contact. Even with all the new electronic methods of connecting with people, it’s hard to beat the potential selling frenzy of a trade show.
Trade shows continue to be the mainstay of many companies’ marketing efforts. The key to making trade shows work for you? Proper planning. Go to the show that best fits your target market, and be prepared.
PICK THE RIGHT SHOW
As a broker, your target market is very broad. This means most trade shows are a good fit for you. Home shows, recreational shows, and car shows are perfect for personal lines; business-to-business shows are a great place for commercials. At these shows, everybody is a potential customer. So how do you choose the right one?
Consider these factors when choosing the show that is right for your company.
BE PREPARED - Once you select the show that is right for your business, start preparations to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
SCHEDULING - give yourself ample time to set up and take down your display. Nothing looks worse than someone putting up a display after the show has already started.
STAFFING - it is important to staff your booth with people that genuinely want to be there. A staffer that is always sitting down or isn’t proactive with prospective clients could cost you valuable leads.
SET GOALS - the purpose of going to this show is to develop new customers and sell more insurance. Give your staff goals to achieve, these could be number of leads, or volume of sales. Whatever it may be, give them some incentive, it will increase the value of the show for your company.
LEADS - make sure all contact information you get from leads is written down and followed up after the show.
DISPLAY BOOTH - your booth is the first thing an attendee is going to see and it reflects the quality of your business. Your booth has to be professionally done with big bold graphics along with a strong message. The main purpose of your display booth is to attract attention and bring people over for a look. Don’t try to tell your whole story on your booth, attendees won’t read it.
BOOTH SPACE LAYOUT - make your space inviting by putting samples of your marketing material and premiums out for people to see and touch. If you have a table, don’t put it in front of your booth, put it off to one side so attendees can come in and visit you. If you are in a poor location, take along a banner stand to put in the front of your display. This will allow you to be flexible and point the banner in any direction to attract more attention.
PREMIUMS AND BROCHURES - advertising premiums and brochures are great to give out but can be costly if you put them all out on the table where anyone can take one. 90% of brochures and premiums you put out will be picked up by attendees that have no interest in your company. Put them away and pass them out to people who are genuinely interested, especially the advertising premiums.
FOLLOW UP - once the show is over and you are back at your office, prepare a formal list of all contacts you made and follow up by phone or email. If nothing comes out of the follow-up, at least make sure you add them to your mailing list.
Make your trade show a success by being at the right show, being prepared, looking good and always follow up with potential customers.