Trade show sponsorships are an effective way to get your industry publication in front of interested readers. But it's important to strategize: what steps can you take to get the most out of your sponsorship investments? From choosing the right industry platform to pushing for the best effective onsite advertising opportunities, trade shows can be one of the top channels raise brand awareness and build relationships with thought leaders in your space. Here's a closer look at a few tips to help you get the most out of your trade show sponsorship opportunities in the year ahead.
SEE ALSO: Are You Putting the Show in Trade Show?
Establish Clear Goals
Before you attend a trade show, one of the most important steps you can take is establishing clear goals and objectives for your time there. What are you most interested in doing? Viable goals could range from introducing your brand to the market and increasing subscribers to recruiting thought leaders to write for your publication or speak at your paid events. By understanding what you're hoping to achieve, you'll be able to formulate a better plan for how to spend your time.
Negotiate What Your Sponsorship Means
What are you spending for your event sponsorship and specifically what are you getting in return? Many sponsorships include opportunities such as prominently displaying your brand, onsite signage, the ability to distribute materials to attendees, and more. It's important that what you're paying for connects with your business objectives. Whether that's collecting leads, getting copies of your publication into the hands of participants, or something else - don't be afraid to ask for what you need or take your money elsewhere.
Prepare Your Team
Does your team have experience working at trade events? If not, it's helpful to spend some time training them to understand the environment, how best to connect with attendees, and how to achieve your key objectives for the event. For example, if your goal is to gather email addresses, it's important to find ways to get prospective customers to submit their business card or sign up through another method. Sharing strategies that are known to work, offering the potential for practice and onsite feedback, and providing incentives can all be effective ways to help your team succeed.
Do Your Research
If you do a bit of pre-event preparation, it's possible to walk in to the event with the information you need for the trade show to be a success. What companies and individuals will be onsite that you'd like to ensure you meet? Which panels should someone from your team attend? Are there any booths you want be sure to visit on the exhibit floor? The more you know, the better you'll be prepared once the event is underway.
Have a Clear Post Event Strategy
Just as important as your pre-event planning is your post-event follow up. What will you be doing to take advantage of the leads and relationships that were put into play during the event? Timely and specific follow up can help cement that connections and ensure that you are reaping a meaningful return on your sponsorship investment.
Sponsoring a trade show is a major investment - but it can be a key channel for trade publications to connect with relevant industries. Having clear objectives, frank conversations about what you need from event organizers and a timely follow up strategy will help ensure that your next trade show is a success.