There’s no question that the trade show floor provides an incredible opportunity to market your company to a targeted demographic. But the trade show floor isn’t the only place to get in front of attendees. When they aren’t walking the show floor, where are they?
Between hotels, restaurants, host city streets, convention hall entrances, and public transportation, you have a multitude of opportunities to communicate and deliver your brand message outside of your exhibit.
- Transportation. Attendees will need a way to get to and from the trade show, meetings, meals, and hotels. A great way to capitalize on this is to brand or wrap a taxi, shuttle bus, or pedicab as they zoom around the city. Make a direct connection to your company at the trade show by presenting those who visit your booth a ticket for a free ride. And while attendees take a ride to their destination, educate the drivers on your company, offerings and initiatives for a more powerful engagement.
- Hotels & Restaurants. Everyone needs to eat and sleep, so take this opportunity to keep your company top of mind. Utilize monitors and screens in entranceways to show videos, photographs and branded images, as well as take advantage of extra floor space with temporary flags and banners. Inside the hotel, door hangers or a small branded gift in the room are personal touches that really leave an impression. If there are known popular restaurants or bars that attendees frequent, brand the coasters used for the beverages and create a signature drink with your company name in the title.
- Convention Hall Lobby. Every attendee coming to the show has to walk through the convention hall lobby, so before they set foot on the show floor, give them an extra incentive to swing by your booth. A company in the sporting industry, for example, may give out a golf ball at the entrance with their booth number on it, instructing attendees to bring the ball to their booth to be entered into a drawing for a set of custom golf clubs. A company hosting a special guest, such as a singer, may have backup singers in the lobby giving a sneak preview of what’s to come. And don’t forget to establish a final impression with attendees as they leave the exhibit hall. For a show in Las Vegas in June, pass out personalized cool towels or hand held fans, while a Chicago show in February is a great place to distribute branded hand warmers and hot beverages.
During the initial planning stages for the trade show’s marketing, be sure to check on any regulations or sponsorship requirements when choosing to market outside the show floor. While there may be some requirements or associated costs, you may find the benefits are well worth it.
By taking advantage of these additional marketing opportunities, each event can yield increased awareness, booth traffic, sales, and return on investment.
Alison James, Event Marketer & Brand Enthusiast
Alison has been with Apple Rock for 13 years. She is not only an industry expert, but also an experienced brand ambassador for all her clients. When she is not working hard for her clients she is enjoying the thrills of parenthood, along with her husband, to their young son.