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How to Maximize Your Trade Show Investment

Here are some concrete tips to help you get more value out of the shows at which you exhibit.
By Sonja Valenta

Whether you are calling, e-mailing or snail-mailing prospects to invite them to the event, you will want to be sure to follow up with them, to ensure they are attending and that you have allocated time in your schedule to meet with them. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, companies that send multiple pre-show invitations see 50 percent more traffic in their booths than those that do not.

Onsite Marketing
Additionally, many shows offer onsite contests or demonstrations in which you can participate for added exposure, such as our RFID Journal Award "Best New Product" category and our Coolest Demo Contest. Participation in these types of contests sometimes comes with added marketing touch points, such as floor stickers, which greatly help your booth to stand out. Check with event organizers to see if they are running any traffic-driving promotions onsite, and find out how to participate or sponsor these highly visible promotions.

If the event offers a mobile app, you will want to make sure you download it, and that your company information is listed accurately so that attendees can find you. Sponsorships, entering for an award, and running an ad in the program guide or mobile app are also great ways to achieve prominent exposure in show marketing materials. All of these things can help you stand out before and at the event, and help customers seek you out.

Finally, don't underestimate the power of social media. Find out how the show is promoting the event on major social-media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Let your online followers know that you are participating in the event—and invite them to come join you. Engage with the event organizers' online profiles, and promote your participation before and during the show via its hasthag and buzzwords, in order to gain exposure to new industry prospects and help build your own following. Not all companies are up to speed with social media, so this is a sure way to stand out as a leading, innovative company.

By taking the time to understand these tasks and assign them to different members of your event team in advance, you can ensure that you have a killer show and maximize your ROI.

Sonja Valenta is RFID Journal's VP of marketing. For a free consultation about your RFID marketing strategy, e-mail marketing@rfidjournal.com.

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