The trade show isn’t dead, you’re just not doing it right

Three ways to boost your brand at the next trade show

Trade Show - Boosting your brand - Ripley PRIt doesn’t take much research to see and hear why health IT companies have scaled back from trade show involvement:

“Everything is digital nowadays.”

“It costs too much.”

“We don’t see a return on our investment.”

There are numerous reasons why companies scale back, however are these the real reason trade shows aren’t working for them?

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the average company allocates a little over 30 percent of their marketing budget to trade shows, but 70 percent of these companies set no specific objectives for their trade show exhibits.

If you’re looking to boost your brand (say at next year’s HIMSS conference), face-to-face interactions at trade shows still matter, but you have to look past the gimmicks and the ho-hum “off to another trade show…” lull and replace them with the proper strategy to ensure you get the most out of your trade show investment.

  1. Set measurable objectives – Why are you at this trade show? Are you showing off a new product? Are you trying to meet new contacts in the industry? Do you want new customers? New vendor partnerships? New investors? Whatever your objectives, define them and set quantifiable (and reasonable) goals to meet them.
  2. Create awareness – If you’re not reaching out and generating awareness with your target audience, how are they going to know that you’re even at a trade show? Press releases, e-blasts and pre-show interviews are just a few of the ways you should be engaging trade show visitors to get them to visit your exhibit.
  3. Choose the right staff – Face-to-face interactions are what trade shows are all about. If you’re not making the impact you want at a trade show, the problem could be your staff. Just because someone is a trade show veteran doesn’t necessarily make them the best fit for a trade show. Ideally you want to staff your show with people who are, first and foremost, open and unafraid of ongoing face-to-face communication. They should be friendly and listen as well as they communicate. They should buy into your objectives and work diligently to meet those goals.

If you’re looking for a health IT public relations agency that can help you put together a strategy to get the most out of your trade shows, give the experts at Ripley PR a call. We will work with you to set measurable objectives and generate the awareness you need to make trade shows worth the investment.

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JD Sizemore - Senior Brand Manager

This post was written by JD Sizemore - Senior Brand Manager

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