Trade Shows CAN Work

Yeah, I know, trade shows are so non-digital. Web 0.0, I've been told. But like most things, a good show requires clear goals, a competent team, a sound plan, and crisp execution; if done right, a trade show can be used as a successful tactic in a well-balanced marketing portfolio. Really. No, seriously, we just pulled one off. How?
We used a four-point recipe:

  1. Define the Goals - We learned a lot from a "test show" we participated in only 60 days prior to our most recent show. We knew our messages weren't as interesting (or differentiating), so we missed our goals. But we knew we could do better, so we set even more aggressive targets for our upcoming show.

  2. Assign the Team - We doubled down and brought our best developers to the show. And we redeployed Sales Engineers to create a kick-a** online tutorial in advance of the show. We hired a former PR Rep to help us pitch the company, as well as tie up loose ends logistically.

  3. Develop the Plan - We wrote it down. We bought legos and tshirts to drive traffic to our booth. We comarketed with two key industry heavy hitters -- and we launched a contest. We held weekly progress meetings.

  4. Implement the Activities - We followed the plan, we acted professionally, and we presented confidently, so we represented ourselves as a much bigger company, which helped us tremendously.

Without sharing too many company secrets, I can say comfortably that we drove 10% of the attendees to our booth. 10% of those folks viewed our product demo and more than 50% of them downloaded our product. 10% joined our online community and "a bunch more" agreed to be beta testers of our next release and several (!!!) even agreed to meet with our Sales Team.

If I told you we presented at the largest software show of the year, then you can get a feel for the numbers and quickly see how this performance helped us strengthen our brand and develop qualified leads for our Sales organization. And isnt that the primary goal of the Marketing Department?

But with that said, I'm not signing up for monthly shows, but I will consider doing another show in the very near future.

Let me know what you think?

Speak with you soon. DC