Trade Shows shouldn't be your primary marketing strategy – however, if you are exhibiting at a show this year, there are things you can do to get the most mileage out of your presence there.

We all know trade shows are expensive -  the cost for booth space, promotions, staff travel, giveaways, etc. And on top of the expense, it's very hard to measure just how effective trade shows are at generating new business. 

To make your trade show presence as successful as it can be promote your presence at the show well ahead of time. Think about using banners and advertising in e-newsletters in places where your target audience goes online. You'll also want to send out marketing emails and direct mail pieces to your customers and potential customers exhibiting at the show, or that live or work in the area where the show is held.

Another idea is to hold a special event during the trade show that you can invite your customers and prospects to attend. Consider holding your event at the beginning or end of the show day to ensure highest attendance. Your event should provide not only a compelling educational program but an opportunity for socialization – like a cocktail party – as well. This will give your Sales force a chance to engage with attendees on a personal level.

Ensure that you publicize your event well in advance of the show through direct mail invitations and emails and get people to register to attend using a form on a specialized landing page – thus obtaining their contact information – making it easy to follow up with them if they did, or even did not, attend your event.

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