Weekly Insights: Trade Shows are One Piece of the Marketing Pie

Graphic: Digital Juice

Graphic: Digital Juice

Earlier this week, I gave a presentation about all the marketing strategies available to promote your business. And while I always emphasize the exhibiting piece because that’s my area of expertise, I definitely don’t separate it from the rest of the pie.

All of the pieces need to work together to present a consistent marketing message and to support each other. For example, exhibiting at a trade show can and should work in tandem with your social media marketing, publicity/media relations, content marketing, and more. In fact, your success is enhanced when you do it this way.

But often the people within a company who are responsible for the trade show program aren’t the same ones who lead the overall marketing campaigns, so there’s a lack of consistency … or worse yet, a contradiction of messages. Sometimes there’s even an “us vs. them” mentality, and that’s got to stop if you want to maximize your exhibiting investment.

Exhibit managers can start by having a conversation with others who play a role in the overall marketing campaigns. Find out what they’re working on and how the exhibit can reinforce those messages. Don’t plan in a vacuum!

And if you’re a small business that has no trouble communicating between departments (you may even BE all the departments), you still don’t want to look at trade show exhibiting as some kind of separate marketing strategy. The more you interweave it with all your other day-to-day marketing (both before and after the show), the more effective it will be.

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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When you set out on a long-distance road trip to a place where you have never been, odds are you don't just jump behind the wheel and start driving. Instead, you probably study a map or program your destination into your GPS System. So why not create a GPS to guide your exhibit marketing this year? Click below to request access to this free training, along with a road map and a turn-by-turn checklist!

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