For years I have been saying that there are many ways to market at trade shows without buying an exhibit space. An article in B2B Magazine, No booth? No problem. How one company used partnerships, guerrilla tactics to get the word out, inspired this blog post. The article is about Brickstream, a company that has in-store devices that analyze and reduce customer wait-time. Brickstream wanted a presence at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo, but the show’s exhibit space was sold out.
Brickstream bought other marketing opportunities – a large floor tile right at the entrance of the show and a sponsorship ad on the event’s mobile app. They dressed up representatives in matching costumes that went with the same theme in the ad and floor tile, and the reps walked the show with handheld tablets to provide information and demos. They did manage to get a partial booth space with a partner, and in the end they got 30 leads and talked to hundreds of prospects. Kudos to Atlanta-based Arketi Group for providing the marketing approach for the show
I know the concept of not buying exhibit space may not be that popular with show management, but some companies just don’t have the budget to go all out on a trade show. Plus, if it is the first year a company attends a show, they may want to dip their toe in the water and check it out before taking the risk and going all in with a booth plus multiple sponsorship opportunities. (I actually recommend this to ensure that a trade show is not a complete bust. Speak at the show or just attend it for the first year to check it out.)
So, if the trade show is sold out or you don’t have a big budget, there are still things you can do to take advantage of the opportunity. Here are other posts with trade show ideas that you might find helpful:
- Trade Show Tricks to Maximize B2B Marketing ROI
- 8 Social Media Marketing Ideas for Your Trade Show Exhibit
- Trade Show Trends B2B Marketers Need to Know
- Why Spending More on Your Trade Show Increases ROI (maybe this will redeem me with the show management companies!)
Do you need help establishing a marketing or trade show strategy? Contact me today – I’ve helped many B2B companies get better results in their trade shows and overall marketing programs.