Pre-Show Activities

Category Archives:Pre-Show Activities

Direct mail for trade shows

Direct Mail For Trade Shows Will Direct Ideal Prospects To Your Exhibit

Direct mail for trade shows in this age of all things email and social media? While some companies may roll their eyes in exasperation and argue that direct mail doesn’t work, a well-executed direct mail campaign will in fact enhance your trade show performance. A smart direct mail for trade shows marketing strategy will  increase your number of ideal exhibit attendees. Consider the following tips that can help your company produce high-quality direct mail pieces and produce better responses at your next trade show.

Make A List And Check It Twice

  • Get the right list by ensuring it is current and contains the correct target group
  • Target lists can be based on demographics, income, lifestyle, purchasing habits, and other factors
  • Remember that the more filters you choose, the better your response rate; however, you’ll pay more per name for the most targeted lists
  • Consider purchasing lists from magazine list shops, as each one has a demographic profile of its readers (such as gardening, manufacturing, or home improvement)
  • Compile a list of your current customers – this provides your company with an immediate qualified list of candidates who may attend the show, but be certain that this list is current and accurate
  • Always mail directly to a person, rather than a title, to ensure your mailing doesn’t get discarded

Market Your Message

  • Your message must be unique and interesting – why should someone visit your trade show booth? What’s in it for them?
  • Be clear, concise and creative
  • Sell the benefits of responding to your mailing, but try to keep the message personal and conversational too
  • Include your call to action by telling the prospect what you want them to do in a simple and polite manner, and do so within the first few lines of the mailing
  • Does your headline tell the story?
  • Proofread and proofread again to ensure your punctuation, spelling, grammar, and contact information are correct
  • If using a direct mail postcard, create a simple, colourful design with your logo and offer on one side, and details and call to action on the reverse
  • When reading a letter, the recipient’s eye naturally moves down the page; therefore, if you’re using a direct mail letter include a postscript (P.S.) at the bottom that reinforces your message
  • Include white space in your letter to give your readers a break, and limit the letter to one page
  • Most of us read at an eighth-grade level, so keep your language simple
  • Be personal – sign your name


Custom trade show exhibit design checklist

A Winning Custom Trade Show Exhibit Design Checklist

Time is of the essence. Your company has about 4 seconds to capture and retain the attention of trade show visitors. In fact, your custom trade show exhibit  should be designed and arranged in much the same way as a highway billboard. Billboards are designed such that vehicle passengers can quickly read and understand the message as they zoom past at 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour. It’s critical for your custom trade show exhibit design to create a visual “speed bump” to slow down traffic and direct attendees to your exhibit. By using the following custom trade show exhibit design checklist, you can encourage trade show visitors to stop and take a longer, more meaningful look.

Ask yourself the following questions as you evaluate the design of your next custom trade show exhibit:

1) Is your company name prominently displayed and located at the highest possible point in your exhibit?

Your company name and all text must be located in the upper half of the exhibit design, so that visitors standing in front of the booth won’t block this important information.

2) Are your text and graphics easily read from a distance of 10 to 20 feet?

Text should be at least 4 inches high in order to be read from 20 feet away. And remember to avoid placing text on textured surfaces, as this makes text more difficult to read. If visitors can’t read your message, they will quickly move on to the next trade show exhibit.

3) Is your exhibit theme easily read and presented with maximum impact in mind?

Sometimes less can be more. Resist the urge to place too much text on your exhibit, which will only overwhelm your visitors. Keep your message clear, concise and comprehensive.


Setting trade show objectives

Trade Show Objectives

“Well, because we go every year”. If that’s your answer to the question of why you’re attending a particular trade show, then it’s definitely time to re-evaluate your trade show objectives. Trade shows are expensive and consume a lot of time and energy, so it’s important to establish valid, meaningful and measurable objectives prior to committing to any events. Objectives help maintain focus during the entire design, implementation, participation and evaluation stages, and perhaps most importantly can improve your return on investment at a show.

There are three key types of objectives you can apply to your trade show marketing program: communications, quantifiable, and logistical goals. Look at each of these objectives, and see how many you’d like to apply to your own trade show strategy. With proper research these goals can be measured and/or evaluated, and can provide a target of success against which future trade show participation can be compared.

Communication Objectives – Awareness, Perception and Positioning

  • Establish or enhance company awareness, credentials and/or capabilities
  • Create, change or reinforce your company’s position
  • Affect general perceptions of your company, product and/or service
  • Promote a specific message such as “The Total Solution For All Your Widget Needs”
  • Distinguish your company from the competitors
  • Introduce a new product, service or capability
  • Enter a new market