Actionable Trade Show Hacks For Startups
When it comes to startup marketing, you always want to do more with less. The mindset is valid when you run short of funds in the initial stages of running a business. Although online marketing sounds good from the costing and outreach perspective, you can also embrace offline promotions on a budget. Trade shows make an essential part of the startup marketing mix as they help with prospecting and networking. But you may have some qualms about participating in them due to the cost factor. Let us share some actionable hacks to fit trade shows into your small budget.
Start small and be selective
Being selective is the best way to make the most out of your trade show promotions without spending a fortune. You need not attend every event in your niche, but be sure to participate in the relevant ones. Everything boils down to knowing your target audiences and being where they are. Likewise, attend the ones where you can make relevant industry connections and explore collaborative growth opportunities.
Attracting the crowds to your booth is about promoting your presence at a trade show beforehand. You cannot expect your target buyers to know about your booth at a specific event on their own. Spreading the word is crucial, and social media is the best channel to get the news out. You can also display the information on your website and at your retail location. Send personalized emails to invite the existing buyers and potential customers to your database.
Invest in your booth
Typically, a trade show has several booths, depending on its size and visibility. It is challenging to set yourself apart as a startup when big brands are around. But investing in your booth does it all. Rent a strategic location if possible because it makes your stand more visible on the floor. Investing in high-quality and visually appealing trade show displays is equally vital. A small investment makes sense because it can make your startup visible and recognizable among the crowd.
Avoid unnecessary expenses
Startup budgets are tight, but money-savvy marketers often find ways to minimize unnecessary costs. List the trade show expenses, such as the cost of signing up for the event, setting up the booth, travel, lodging, and giveaways. Find the areas where you can cut the costs and find low-cost alternatives. For example, you can stick with the local events to eliminate travel and lodging costs. Opt for affordable giveaways, or create memorable experiences for your visitors.
Capitalize on the hard work
Trade show marketing does not end with the closure of the event, but continues beyond. Startups must go the extra mile to capitalize on the hard work and maximize the marketing benefits. Create a lead list and follow up on the potential customers relentlessly. You can connect with them through emails and calls, share recommendations, and entice them with offers. Consider it an opportunity to sell and consolidate relationships with your audience.
Trade show marketing need not burn a hole in your startup wallet. Follow these tried and tested strategies to achieve the best outcomes with minimal investment.