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The experts at Foster Marketing are often asked to share their insights with industry professionals and participate in forums on trends in our field. This article was written by Trade Show Expert Megan Hebert to be shared with the exhibitors at this year’s East Texas Oilfield Expo. As trade season is in full swing, we wanted to share this article with all our readers as pre-show marketing is a key part of any show. Enjoy!
By Megan Hebert, Trade Show Coordinator, Foster Marketing

As the trade show quickly approaches and your to-do list is growing, I’m sure you’re considering ways to maximize your investment of time and money. What can we do (or should we have done) to have a successful and rewarding show? Trade shows by nature call for a large marketing investment (money, time, travel … more time). To ensure your participation is worthwhile, do not overlook the ever powerful and often cost-effective initiatives utilized in pre-show marketing.

Effective event marketing should begin months before the event, but often times exhibitors do not have that luxury. Whether you’ve been planning for more than a year or only have a few weeks before opening day, the appropriate pre-show marketing efforts help get the word out and build momentum leading up to an event.
And, yes, show organizers have a responsibility to promote their event. If it’s a quality group, then promotion will be a high priority and be executed well. However, your investment is too large to not take personal responsibility to promote the show and ensure customers, prospects and media know where to find you!

As trade show coordinator for many clients across the oil and gas industry, we’ve implemented numerous strategic and creative pre-show marketing campaigns to broadcast our client’s message — and to get traffic to their booth. Where’s your campaign?

  • What are your objectives? Trade show marketing plans should be an extension of the overall marketing strategy. Are you launching a product, expanding into another area or looking to build existing client relationships or find new ones? Pre-show marketing strategies must work within your company’s overall marketing vision to secure the best results.
  • What’s your plan? What tactics will help achieve your objectives? Each tactic employed is a part of the bigger overall strategy. Here’s a start …
    • Strategic advertising development and placement centered on your presence at a show. Where are the right people going to see your message … and who are the “right” people?
    • Sponsorships offered by the show to enhance your company’s visibility before, during and after a show.
    • Development of a direct mail campaign (to both the inbox and the mailbox). A campaign puts your message in front of the right audience and if created properly, moves the recipient to action — to contact you! Most attendees plan what booths they are going to visit — make sure you’re on the list.
    • Incorporation of specialty items into marketing strategy. Choose an innovative, sought-after giveaway or in-booth promotion to move traffic into your booth and provide memorability after the show is over.
    • Utilize public relations. Whether it’s distributing news releases to industry media or holding a press conference during the show — take advantage of this cost-effective and powerful method of communicating.

Trade shows are only as successful as the thought and effort put in beforehand to promote your company’s message and drive traffic to your booth. Utilize the tools provided to you by the show organizers (electronic guest passes, sponsorships, networking events, advertising options, etc.), and consider the value of hiring oil and gas marketing specialists to be your partner in managing the details and making the most of your investment!

Foster Marketing handles trade show coordination for energy industry clients throughout the United States and beyond. From Salt Lake City to San Antonio and Kuala Lumpur to Rio de Janeiro, Foster Marketing’s trade show experts can be there to plan, coordinate and set your next show.