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Energize Trade Shows and Events with Inbound Marketing Tactics

At the beginning of each year, marketing professionals take a more granular look at their firm's annual plan for trade shows and events. Trade show and professional event strategic marketing is a process that takes some planning to ensure the firm generates an increase in business development activity that justifies participation costs. 

inbound marketing methods for trade shows


This post will give you steps to energize trade shows and professional events with inbound marketing tactics. 

Align Firm Goals and Objectives with Event Goals and Objectives

Like all other marketing activities, referring to your firm's goals and objectives is important to guide each event's strategic plan. Sketch out a list of specific trade show and event objectives, for example:

  • Generate new business;
  • Generate new business development leads;
  • Increase your firm's visibility;
  • Build your firm's brand;
  • Inform target audiences about your firm's services;
  • Increase website and professional blog traffic from desired audiences;
  • Increase social media following;
  • Increase email and blog subscribers;
  • Introduce new professional services offerings;
  • Grow a presence in a desired market sector;
  • Get some face time with clients, competitors, consultants, and vendors;
  • Stay on top of new trends;
  • Gather intelligence on competitors;
  • Develop new key industry contacts;
  • Nurture existing relationships with clients.

Compare your firm's goals and objectives with the event's specific objectives to ensure they align. Once you have a clear list, content marketing wordsmiths can busily work on positioning and messaging for inbound marketing tactics.

Develop a Compelling Call to Action CTA and Event Specific Landing Page

Now that you have a list of event goals and objectives, it is time to develop a compelling event campaign strategy incorporating a call to action and an event-specific landing page to accomplish the goal. While developing the strategy, craft a compelling and relevant call to action to create buzz before, during, and after the event. The CTA should align with the overall theme of your strategy and, ultimately, assist you with achieving the firm's goals for the event.

Remember, a CTA can be used to…

  • You can create a sense of urgency for prospective clients to learn how to make a more informed decision about desired services.
  • Create interest by offering advanced content (checklist, ebook, whitepaper) of real value to a specific market segment and concisely address a prospect's unique concerns.
  • Could you arrange a complimentary meeting with an experienced professional? 

Once you have developed a CTA that you believe will encourage event audiences to continue the conversation, share the CTA with the firm's event attendees to verify the message's effectiveness. Engaging your firm's event attendees will include them in the strategic process and inform them how to turn an event connection into a lead and a client.

If you are operating a trade show booth, make sure your direct marketing materials, backlit displays, LCD TV presentations, and marketing specialties (pens, magnets, t-shirts, trinkets) include the CTA to encourage booth visitors to become regular website and professional blog visitors.  

Once a compelling call to action is created, it must link to an event-specific landing page that follows the theme of the event's inbound marketing strategy and campaign. The event-specific landing page requires free content or offers related to the event's strategic message and aims to increase visitor volume.

Effective landing pages need to….

  • Concisely describe the offer,
  • Deliver a content offering of value,
  • Capture visitor data,
  • Encourage sharing, and
  • The trigger would like to talk more.

CTAs placed in outbound marketing materials will direct attendees to a landing page on your website or blog. Once they arrive at the landing page, you can gather information about your event connections. It is easier to prioritize and manage these connections by their level of interest in the firm's website and blog content.

In addition, a landing page requires capturing contact information in exchange for a content offering of value. Contact information is captured in a form that should include a field asking what prompted their visit.

Take Your Event Marketing To-Go

Leverage the power of the cloud with a mobile device-friendly CTA that allows your attendees to access a link to your firm's event call to action. If a call-to-action link proves too cumbersome, consider placing a QR code in your CTA. Don't forget to always test the QR code before the event to ensure it is programmed correctly.

Now that you know how to incorporate inbound marketing tactics with your trade show and professional event strategy, you can energize your marketing plan with methods to help you deliver measurable results. Good luck!

Annual Marketing Plan Outline by Colosi Marketing