Trade shows are a costly form of marketing for your staffing firm; however, face-to-face marketing allows you the opportunity to develop important relationships with potential clients and qualified candidates while building confidence in your brand.Building Effective Tradeshows In order to make the most of your conference budget, identify the trade shows frequented by your target audience and don’t be afraid to venture outside your local region. Be sure to track your leads and adjust your show selection as your firm’s needs change. Prompt follow-up and a strong nurturing campaign are required to expand your audience and convert qualified leads into ROI for your staffing firm.

Pre-Show Promotion
Pre-show promotion is a great way to generate trade show leads and encourage people to visit your trade show booth. Use social media posts and blog articles to publicize your booth location and to promote any planned giveaways. Send an inexpensive postcard to your target audience and offer them a free gift when visiting your conference booth. Have your sales people send free conference tickets to local prospects and encourage them to set up meetings during the trade show. Want to spend more quality time with your target audience? Consider hosting a pre-show dinner or cocktail hour and invite your top prospects.

Booth Design and Location
Submit your exhibitor registration materials early and secure the highly sought-after corner booth spaces in the high traffic areas of the convention center. Evaluate your current booth design and determine whether changes are necessary based on the trade show or your intended target audience. Consider eco-friendly designs with exciting colors and defined brand recognition to replace your outdated exhibit booth architecture. Don’t make your booth too busy; rather, make the space inviting by minimizing clutter. Create a comfortable lounge area to encourage attendees to sit down and engage in conversation with your booth staffers.

Promotional Materials
Businesses today are vying for the attention of trade show attendees, and attractive promotional materials are a great way to generate trade show leads. Draw visitors into your booth area with the aroma of freshly baked cookies and offer bottled water with your logo printed on the label. Branded reusable bags allow attendees to easily carry their promotional materials throughout the conference and the bags become highly visible marketing tools for your staffing firm. Make sure your marketing materials serve as conversation starters and tie into an exciting overall exhibit booth message. Visitor engagement is the goal, so all of your printed collateral and promotional items must direct people to your website or social media profiles and feature a strong call-to-action.

Lure of Technology
People are fascinated by technology, so move interesting equipment and interactive displays to the edge of the booth to draw the attention of attendees. Encourage booth visitors to tag your staffing firm in a tweet and reward them with a giveaway item that ties into your theme. Conduct an engaging presentation to attract attention and feature the video on a large monitor. Utilize badge scanners to quickly and easily record visitor contact information and free up your booth staffers to engage in conversations. Incorporate a QR code into your trade show booth that provides recipients with access to additional content such as an eBook or a case study.

Show Promotion
Coordinate with the hotel and have welcome gifts waiting for your top prospects as they check-in. Consider sponsoring a portion of the trade show or participating as a guest speaker in one of the educational sessions to generate trade show leads. Provide staffers with branded outfits to promote your staffing firm’s booth theme and make sure they are well-versed in the company message and goals for the show. Ask visitors open-ended questions as conversation starters, and hold a raffle or contest that requires participants to leave their contact information. Train booth staffers to quickly identify the best prospects and teach them ways to politely disengage with those who are not part of your company’s identified target audience. Don’t forget to maintain a strong social media promotional campaign from your trade show booth. Tweet from the convention floor and post to your staffing firm’s Facebook page to highlight your booth promotions.

Five Trade Show Takeaways:S.J.Hemley Marketing

  1. Don’t underestimate the value of pre-show promotion
  2. Evaluate your booth design and choose your location to ensure maximum exposure
  3. Incorporate your staffing firm’s marketing theme into all promotional materials
  4. Feature technology in your trade show booth to engage visitors in conversation
  5. Consider various promotional opportunities during the trade show to cultivate relationships with potential clients and candidates

About S.J.Hemley Marketing
S.J.Hemley Marketing is a marketing and sales consulting firm focused on driving tangible results for professional services firms. Brand matters, but not without ROI. With over 20 years of sales and marketing experience within staffing and recruiting, we have helped to drive successful branding, sales training, lead generation activities as well as defining marketing strategy for top organizations.