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Trade Show Promotions That Bring in the Buyers
By Mark S. A. Smith   Printer Friendly Version

Don't rely on show management to supply all the buyers you need for a successful show. A strong pre-show promotion guarantees an exhibit flooded with buyers. The best pre-show promotions have three parts, each targeting specific buyers.

Target your best prospects
Make a list of people with whom you really want to do business. Think about what would compel them to stop by your exhibit. Consider a gift, a special report, or the opportunity to meet someone important. Don't be cheap -- when you do business with these people, you'll make real money. Send out a special mailer letting them know about it. Invite them, peer to peer, over the phone -- CEO calling CEO, VP calling VP, and so forth.

Two-part premiums work well. Send them half of the gift before the show with an invitation to collect the rest at the show. Examples are headphones and a cassette player, a baseball stand and an autographed baseball, a picture frame and a signed lithograph. If your industry doesn't use premiums, invite them to a party to meet a celebrity or sports figure.

Invite your customers
Throw a VIP appreciation party, and send special invitations to your customers. Or hold a sneak preview, introducing customers to your newest products and services. Send them an invitation in the form of a ticket or special pass.

Have your sales force distribute show passes when making sales calls, and personally invite their prospects and customers to stop by the exhibit.

Let everyone else know
Include information about the show in everything sent from your office. Don't forget a mention in your advertising. Don't use "Come see us at booth 125." Who remembers booth numbers? Instead, have them look for a distinctive feature of your exhibit, "Look for our flashing green lights."


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