Expos (also known as trade shows) are a great way to bring many businesses together to network with their target audience. A successful expo has a lot of parts that have to work together for the overall goal of the event. This includes efficient marketing, networking, priming, and follow-up.
Every event maker knows that putting together an expo takes a lot of work. Don’t let your work go to waste, make sure all of your planning and effort go towards a successful outcome. Here are 5 tips for a successful expo:
1. Market Efficiently
You can have the best exhibitors, killer booths, and yummy catering for your expo, but if you don’t have effective marketing before your event, good luck getting attendees there. One of the best ways to get the word out about your expo is digital marketing, i.e. digital ads. To buy online ads for your event, click here.
PPC ads are a great way to make sure your target audience knows about your expo and gets tickets ahead of time. However, to do this you’ll need a great event landing page. Event websites are a must in this day and age. Feel free to keep it simple, but you need to at the least have contact info, ticket purchasing, event location and schedule.
Want to build a great event website in 5 events? Learn how to here.
2. Network with People Before Your Event
It’s important to network with your vendors and target audience before your event. Email campaigns are a good way to do this, but social media is even better. Social media enables you to connect with people in real-time before your event. You can also start promoting your event hashtag ahead of time, building awareness for your event.
3. Encourage Creative Booths
Be sure to send out an email to encourage your exhibitors to bring their “A” game. No one wants to host an expo with boring booths. You’ll already have a lot on your plate in planning an expo so don’t feel like you have to coach each exhibitor on how to put a great booth together. Instead, pass them along an article with tips on innovative booth creation, like this one written by Bizbash.
OtterBox’s booth is a truly innovative example, it’s two stories of well thought out creativity:
4. Provide Cool Swag
Everyone loves free stuff so make sure your expo swag is on point. Of course your exhibitors will have their own swag they’ll provide, but you want to make sure that your expo has cool stuff to give away as well so people remember you overall event.
If you’re willing to go expensive try USB drives, mini bluetooth speakers, phone charges, etc.
If you want to go less expensive go with T-shirts, reusable bags, sunglasses, mugs etc.
5. Follow Up Post-Event
Now that you’ve put on a successful event, be sure to thank your exhibitors. Go the extra mile and send a handwritten thank you note or fruit basket. Something that shows your appreciation so that they’ll remember your event fondly.
Don’t forget to throw in a note about next year’s expo like “See you next year!” This allows you to open the door to send them early-bird booth pricing for next year.
You’ll also want to send them a value report, showing attendee data specific to their booth that can be used for lead gen. Wondering what reports you need and how to get them? Read here.