When operating a trade show booth, it is very important to have a promotional plan in place. Without one, the promotional aspect of the business can be complete and utter chaos. That is certainly something you don't want. You want a plan where everything is organized because nothing works without some kind of order. That is why there are processes to virtually everything and trade shows are definitely not an exception. There is a process to setting up the booth and there needs to be one for promoting the booth as well, so a promotional plan must be put in place.
Promotion is the biggest part of your marketing. You have to promote your booth before the show, at the show, and even after the show. So many trade show exhibitors do not have a solid plan in place that takes care of all three of these areas. The reason is because of the budget. Some believe that they cannot do such promotion on their budget. It is true that money will decide how much promotion can take place, but the budget can serve has a good guide as to what can be done and how much of it can be done. A little is definitely better than none at all. One sale can be the difference between making money and not making money, so every little bit helps.
When creating your promotional plan, it is a good idea to have a theme in mind that can be remembered by those you are promoting to. This should become a significant part of your promotional plan. You want to determine who it is you need to target and you may even want to consider having different approaches for the different types of people you are aiming for. You want to do such things as broadcast faxes, direct mail, PR sponsorship, advertising, and utilize the internet as much as possible. Of course how much of this you do depends on your budget, but try to touch each area at least a little bit so that you can get the word out in many different areas.
When using such methods as direct mail, you want to make your mailing stand out from the rest that ends up in the mailboxes of potential customers. You don't want them to glance at it and automatically think, "Junk mail." This means your money is going to go straight to the trash. Also, in any of your marketing approaches, you want to provide your prospective customers with an incentive to check out your business. Everyone has busy lives and sometimes an incentive is the only thing that is going to bring them to you. You also want to highlight what is new in your business because people take an interest in things that are new versus the old. People are always eager to learn about those things that are new, so be sure to provide them with the information they crave.
Also, sending press releases into local newspapers is a great way to get exposure. Public relations are very cost-effective and are very successful when generating sales and inquiries. That is why you want to send catchy and newsworthy press releases to the local papers that focus on what is new with your business such as a new product.
Another part of your promotional plan should be to have everyone trained and ready to communicate with anyone and everyone that walks up to the booth. This means customers, press, and whoever else shows up. By having your people prepared, promotion can be consistent, organized, and successful.
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