Usually businesses trying to increase their brand awareness or obtaining qualified leads will exhibit at trade shows by purchasing a booth space on the expo floor.

If you find that you just:

  • don’t have the right personnel to man the booth,
  • don’t want to spend the money or,
  • just don’t have the time to plan a thorough marketing plan for an effective exhibit,

why not think outside the box or the booth!

Here are top five alternatives to participate at conferences outside of the expo floor:

1. Sponsor an event.

Whether its a cocktail reception, customer appreciation game night, or the dinner; get your name and sales force out there! Plan a small cocktail reception in a hotel suite and give a small, brief presentation. Whatever it may be, make it fun!

2. Book space across the street or in the parking lot.

One year at the E3 Show, Ouya decided to rent out part of the parking lot across the street from the Los Angeles Convention Center and put up banners to attract passer-byers.  Not sure it created more sales, but it did create free publicity.

3. Engage Social Media with a targeted goal
New Balance recently launched a relay-race mobile app promotion in New York promoting their flagship store.  Integrating running and batons in the app resulted in 75 million media impressions along with engaging over 1000 app downloads along with exceeding their goal of selling $250,000 in first month (40% increase of their retail sales goal).  This was not used at a tradeshow, but the premise still applies.

4. Snag a speaking role at the tradeshow.

Have someone from your company speak at the show.  This shows the attendees that you and your company have been vetted by the show committee or public relations firm in charge of the tradeshow and of course that you are a thought leader in your industry.   And don’t forget to have your sales or development team available in full force to assist in any questions.

5. Become a greeter at the show

Engage the attendees with energetic greeters dressed with your logo’d shirts that hand out logo’d bags to attendees which include a USB loaded with your company info and contact person. Include a qr code on the greeter’s shirt to drive attendees to a custom company page!

Even though you haven’t spent money on a booth and its related costs, you still have invested time and money in the above.  You typically will not close the deal at the show, but in the followup.  A must is to schedule a follow up meeting or call as soon as possible while the tradeshow buzz is still fresh in the attendees’ mind.

If you need help with your appreciation night or VIP suite, we’re here to help!  Good luck and let us know if our suggestions helped you!

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