Trade shows and buzz marketing

Trade shows and buzz marketing

Here’s the Buzz Word About Buzz Marketing

Buzz, also known as word-of-mouth marketing, is a powerful way of capturing the attention of customers and the media. And it’s all about starting a dialogue. Good buzz occurs when your company, product, or service has become the source of interesting conversation. Interesting conversations are a natural form of entertainment, and suddenly your company, product or service is newsworthy, fascinating, and in the spotlight.

We tend to rely on friends, co-workers and peers for product and service recommendations. Acquaintances are credible sources of information because we know that they aren’t being paid to sell us an item. While most marketing employs a “push” strategy – pushing a message at people – consumers actually react much more favourably to the “pull” strategy, which motivates the customer to seek out companies. So how can you use trade shows to generate some buzz of your own?

Every trade show exhibitor has the power to influence the buzz at an event. Take a look at these ideas that may help your company to create buzz and generate more interest at your next trade show.

  • Brainstorm with influencers. Talk with people who might be interested in your product or service, such as the media, opinion leaders, lead users, politicians, and industry analysts. These influencers like to stay one step ahead of their peers, and can provide valuable feedback on the latest trends.
  • Research the spread of information. How do your existing customers learn about new ideas? What are their key sources of information?
  • Create a clear, concise and customized message that highlights the unique benefits of your product or service.
  • Consider creating a theme to capture media attention. Be certain the theme captures the essence and message of your product or service. Any creative efforts must contribute directly to your company’s bottom line.
  • Use more than one means of connecting with your target audiences, such as pre-show advertising, at-show sponsorships, or a post-show trade publication article. Diversify your methods of word-of-mouth marketing, including print, direct mail, email, broadcast, internet advertising and blogs.
  • Provide opportunities to try your product or service. The trade show floor is an excellent venue for demonstrations and samples, and is a natural network for buzz marketing. Consider inviting opinion leaders and the media to test what you have to offer.
  • Explore your creative side and be unconventional. Basically, fun equals buzz. If you invent a creative, visually-appealing and unique way to capture attention, you will generate much more interest in your company, both with consumers and with the media.
  • Use press conferences to make major announcements, or to introduce a new product or service. Be certain that your product or service is genuinely new or improved, and is indeed newsworthy. The media can quickly become disenchanted if your event isn’t worthwhile. After all, it’s a good business practice to establish and maintain relationships with local media contacts. A visually-appealing media kit with professional photos and a well-written press release can spark a journalist’s curiosity. Just don’t include any sales information in your media kit.
  • Turn the trade show into your own media event. Send personal invitations to the media who plan to attend, reserve a special time for their attendance, and then be prepared to “wow” them while you have their undivided attention.
  • Can you coin a phrase? Introducing a new phrase into the vocabulary of influencers creates buzz. For instance, have you ever heard of “Googling”?
  • Use sneak previews at the trade show to increase anticipation and generate some buzz in the exhibition hall. Or include some verbal sessions at your booth to educate, entertain and let people have some fun.

Hotmail generated buzz, and went from 0 to 12 million subscribers in just 18 months. While your company may not be the next Hotmail in terms of number of subscribers, you can still generate your own buzz and shine a spotlight on your unique product or service. Trade shows are a terrific opportunity to profit from the power of buzz. Think outside of the booth.