You spend the time, money and effort to exhibit at a trade show to be noticed.  Your exhibit at a trade show can have an impact on multiple audiences.  First and most logical are the attendees who are walking the aisles – but what about the attendees who wanted to come and actually signed up for the event, but due to unforeseen reasons could not make it?  And then there is a whole group who were not planning on attending, due to location, budget constraints, etc.

Since multiple audiences are waiting to hear from you about the product and or services you are offering, use the trade show function as a focal point to share news about your company.

Assessing the Various Show Attendees

Last week I had a meeting with an old client who now has a new company and is going to a big show.  In our conversation I was pointing out to him that he needs to have several messages for the various audiences who show up.  Each group has its own unique vantage point which a smart exhibitor should address both before and after the event.

Your customers – this special group should have attention exclusively for them.  This could look like a hospitality suite or an off-the-show-floor demo room.

Your current prospects – this group should be invited to your booth at certain times so that they can meet you and have special attention from you or one of your senior executives, a product specialist, etc.

Then the general trade show audience – those that the show organizer has brought to the show.    A concise message of who you are and what you offer needs to be communicated to them.  Often the show organizer will let you mail to the entire pre-registrant list, so you should check out that option.

The Non-Attendees

Typically, these groups I mentioned above are recognized and most exhibitors have prepared for them.  But there is one more audience – those who could NOT attend.  When I mentioned this to my client, the light bulb went off.  He saw the opportunity to use this show activity to send a message about what they were doing at the show to his entire mailing list, and he is now going about doing that.

Invite Your Attendees

This client is an avid fan of direct mail and he is creating a series of direct mail pieces that will go out to the new company’s entire database.  The first piece is a post card, followed up by a letter then another letter with a white Paper offer.  Each will build on one another and they have the appropriate call to action. In research I conducted many years ago, an important fact emerged – the number one reason an attendee goes a show was a result of a personal invitation from an exhibitor.

So I would ask you to consider all of these audiences and check to see how you are using this show to get maximum coverage and experience greater awareness from all of your audiences – which can lead to more sales.