At the the IndustryWeek Manufacturing & Technology Show, Steve Blue, the President and CEO of Miller Ingenuity spoke to a room of attendees about how his “rust belt” company transformed its business model into something modern. In addition to discussing idea generation and product innovation, Blue discussed marketing at trade shows. One of his best marketing tips was being approachable. Going to trade shows, it is not uncommon for representatives to be standing behind a table with their arms crossed. In front of them is a table covered in their products. Blue made note of this and discussed the importance of being sociable instead. Going out, finding customers, engaging with them, and bringing them to the booth is the best way to not only leave a great first impression, but also an improved method to acquiring business. 

“Too many companies pull the ‘it’s all about us!’ card and sell, sell, sell,” says blogger and marketer Kristen Daukas. “There’s a lot of pressure to stand out from all the other vendors who are there for the exact same reason you are,” she continues. How can you stand out? Much like Blue’s point about face to face communication at trade shows, promotions before, during, and after a trade show are just as crucial to new customers. This approach is an excellent opportunity to let your current customers know how to find you. Additionally, and most importantly, this is also a way to let them know what you can offer them. 

One of the easiest ways to promote is through social media. No longer a “going the extra mile,” social media is a necessity. “While you may think that social media accounts are just for pleasure and fun, most people connect with work and follow pages/posts related to their careers,” says DemandZEN. In just the United States alone, 78% of Americans have at least one account on some type of social media. It is important to post regularly before, during, and after the trade show. Engage with other attendees and the show itself. Make sure to research the hashtag of the show so that you know exactly how to get involved in the conversation. For example, this year’s National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo (NIFMSE) hashtag is #FastenerShow!

Another excellent way to draw attention and drive traffic to your website is through a blog. Blog posts can include anything from a session you’re excited about, a subject related to the event itself, or a team member that is speaking. After the event, blog about industry news, neat new products, key points from sessions, and an overall overview of the show.

Promote your attendance at the trade event anywhere you have content going to an audience. This can be in your blog, on social media, on your home page, in an email, in newsletters, in brochures, or anywhere that makes sense for your marketing. Create visually appealing graphics that catch the eye while informing of your booth number.

To help you plan and promote, Fastener News Desk has created a page filled with tools for you: The Fastener Show Online Promotional Tools page. They’re easy to use and free – all you need is to plug in the information that is requested, download the image and voila — start campaigning!

See the video below for details and tutorial. 

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