The Most Effective Way of Connecting with your Audience

Trade shows are ideal to bridge your marketing efforts from the digital world to real face-to-face communication. Each show uniquely connects you with an audience eager to be there. In fact, 56% of people travel more than 400 miles and attend trade shows to learn, network, and have fun. So how do you match your exhibiting goals with that of the attendees? How do you increase your booth traffic and engage them at the show? Meetings can make all the difference.

Setting meetings might sound more obvious than you think, but a little planning prior to the show can go a long way. The cost associated with your sales team setting up one on one meetings in your normal business setting can add up. A trade show is the perfect opportunity to save money and have multiple meetings in one place. The cost of having these meetings individually can outweigh the cost of exhibiting at the show. One report shows that a meeting at a tradeshow costs $142 where as a meeting at a prospect’s office costs $259 – a savings of over $100 per meeting!

Start by looking at your database and comparing the show’s demographics from the previous year. Based on this comparison, define your target audience by title and function. Once you have your target audience listed, confirm what your goals for the show are. What will make your attendees want to meet with you? Are you introducing a new product or service? Determine what the goal of your meetings is and start to call your prospects 3 to 6 weeks prior to the show.

When setting the appointments, set specific times so that they aren’t forgotten. 1:05, for example, stands out and will be remembered better than 1:00. Prepare for the meetings and don’t devalue them because they will be at the show. An appointment is an appointment. Understand who you will be talking to so that you can make your meeting more personal.

Another effective method is to think past traditional appointments. Have dinner with a prospect or group of prospects. Create an experience after the show that will allow you to get to know them on a more personal level and will begin that relationship. A relationship, after all, is really what you want to create.