Professionally written, designed and printed.
Most marketing literature is discarded immediately after an event! Attendees usually only keep hold of relevant and interesting pieces after a show. Because of this, you’ll have to carefully consider what you give away, to whom.
Create something inexpensive which you can hand out to as many people as possible, and then hold back on the more expensive items for people who you have qualified as good potential leads. You could cherry pick the good leads, and then send them something more comprehensive after the event. Your marketing literature should be professionally written, designed and printed. Don’t be tempted to do this yourself (unless you are a professional of course). Having homemade marketing literature will undermine your brand and negatively affect your desirability.
Your leaflet should look and feel good, but be priced so that you can afford to have 60% or more discarded. An A5 leaflet is probably ideal, and if necessary you could have a folded leaflet if you need it to contain more information.
The writing on the leaflet should be brief and strong. Outline your main services and have a time-limited offer on it. Perhaps your event attendees get a 15% discount for buying at the event (or a smaller discount for buying shortly afterwards). The leaflet should contain the information your attendees want to hear, not what you want to tell them. Put yourself in their shoes and consider why they’re attending this show.
Consider putting a website link on your leaflet to a handy guide, e-book download or show-specific web page. This will encourage visitors to hang onto your leaflet and to reconnect with your business at a later time, increasing the likelihood that they will remember your brand long term.
‘How to’ guides
Assert yourself as an expert by giving away checklists, action plans and how to guides. For example, if you were a recruiter you could create mini take-home guides about interview techniques. People are more likely to keep hold of these, and to take them away, than a simple leaflet. These must also be well designed, branded, written and formatted. Providing they are well designed and formatted, you could print them yourself, but it will probably actually save you time and money to have them professionally printed if you’re doing them in bulk.
Show-specific web pages
If you set up a specific web page for your event attendees, you have somewhere to send them which can include any special offers, downloads and details of competitions you were running on the day. If you do not include this page on your websites main menu, it will be difficult for your main web visitors to find.
This gives you an opportunity to talk more about your business, capture additional leads and best of all, you can measure how many visits you got to this page after the exhibition.
Create a buzz
If you’ve attended plenty of events, you’ll know that there is always one particular stand which has the biggest buzz around it and has people clamouring to get near it. How can you achieve this?
Well, to begin with, you need the right people on your stand. People who are well presented, friendly and knowledgeable. Don’t just think sales, although this is important. Give your event staff different roles, some people can be the ‘hook’ and get people in, and others can work at having longer conversations, product demos or consultations.
To make your stand exciting, have something on offer, like a prize draw, goody bag or free demo/consultation. If you go down the free demo or consultation route, book people in for slots, ensuring that your stand stays busy throughout the day, even in quiet periods.
Gimmicks and freebies
Many exhibitors see free mugs, pens and post-it notes as an exhibiting essential, but they can be a pricey option. It’s also true that event visitors love and even expect freebies!
When deciding on freebies, think about something that will appeal to your audience. Try not to appeal to a certain demographic and alienate some of your customers. Something that your attendees will reuse is a safe bet, such as a pen or tote bag. With regards to creativity, picking an unusual item might not be the best option – you can make a branded notepad extremely fun and creative. It doesn’t have to be the object itself that it unusual.
You could also give away something that is not professionally branded, like some sweets that match your brand colour or some fun, relevant stickers – the world is your oyster!
When deciding on a goody bag make sure it is bold, eye-catching and big so that yours is the bag everyone stuffs all their other freebies into. Put in your brochure, leaflet, how to guides, freebies and product samples. Price things like goody bags by how valuable each customer potentially is to you. If your services are 10-20k a year then investing in some nice goody bags doesn’t seem so unreasonable. Like gimmicks and freebies, you don’t need a goody bag but it’s an option to consider.
Brochures should be professionally designed and printed to as high a quality as you can afford. Because of this, it’s best to hand out brochures to specific people either at or after the event, rather than to everyone who walks past. While a great website is crucial, a nice brochure is still a marketing favourite and for good reason. You can also create different brochures to different target audiences, and it’s an opportunity to be creative and stand out. There are things your brochure can achieve that your website cannot, and vice versa.