Convention Marketing Tips and How to Succeed at Trade Shows Using Mobile Marketing

Don’t you love it when you go to trade shows and conventions and see all these companies boasting of “cutting edge” marketing techniques, or state-of-the-art products, or forward thinking minds, etc… and then they ask you to fill out a card to add to their fishbowl at their booth?

Fill out a card? Are they kidding me – how 1990′s! Any company claiming “uniqueness” at a trade show and still using this most antiquated means of lead capture can’ t be very unique. If you’re walking the tradeshow booths at a convention, and the tradeshow exhibitor doesn’t have some form of communicating with your mobile device, take a lesson from Dionne Warwick and “walk on by”.

The fishbowl lead capture device doesn’t work anymore for a variety of reasons, the primary of which is that a high percentage of your “new contacts” probably wrote down fake information in exchange for that pen or magnet you just gave them. The second problem with the fishbowl is that after the convention is over, you’re stuck with hours worth of entering this fake info into a database so you can spend money marketing to these non-existing people later on. At that point, you’ll soon realize your ”successful” tradeshow wasn’t as successful as it could have been, leading you to a conclusion that “trade shows don’t work”.

Well let us tell you that trade shows DO work. In an economy where every penny spent needs to be carefully examined, conventions still rate among the highest forms of marketing and brand awareness in a one-to-one setting. It’s up to your company to make it successful, regardless of the show’s attendance. Text message and mobile marketing is the answer to that.

By purchasing a text message keyword and placing that info along with an offer on your booth’s banner (and prominently displaying this offer on all your marketing material) you’ll see trade show results you never thought possible. Here’s an example:

Create the following campaign: “text FREETV to 69302 to automatically get entered into our drawing for a free TV”.

Place that on your banner so as people walk by your booth, they see your offer. Again, depending on what your offer is, people will do it – which means they’ll get on your contact list. And since it’s all electronic directly from their cellphones, they can’t enter fake data. As an added bonus, since the cellphone numbers probably get dumped directly into a database in your text message marketing back-office, you’ll never spend a second wasting precious time doing data-entry afterward.

No more nonsense. Instead, you have contact numbers from everyone walking past your booth that have texted your offer, which should be right in their face for immediate impact. Now comes the cool part: use text message marketing to get those people to come BACK to your booth at a later time. You can send them a followup message saying “FREE TV drawing in 45 minutes. Winner must be present at Booth XXX“. You can also schedule these autoresponder messages to go out at specific intervals during the entire convention as you continue to develop ingenious events to drive these people back to your booth over and over again.

That’s what makes a successful trade show. Plus, the bonus you get from mobile marketing is that after the show is over, you still have these contacts in your database, where you can market to them with special offers anytime in the future. Let’s see a fishbowl do that!