How Trade Show Software Can Help Maximize Your Strategy

March 14, 2023

Trade shows have the potential to make a lasting impression if they are done right. The in-person interactions and hands-on experiences connect vendors with potential customers in a way that traditional marketing initiatives can't. As trade shows are coming back, it's more important than ever to have a trade show strategy in place, so everyone involved has a positive experience.

Why a Trade Show Strategy is Important

Trade shows provide many unique networking and marketing opportunities for vendors and attendees. Unfortunately, there are also many missed opportunities when it comes to managing and leveraging the data that is collected. Vendors and sales representatives simply can't be expected to keep up with the influx of data using manual processes. 

Here are some of the common problems related to data that trade show planners and vendors experience after an event:

  • Inconsistent data upload into the CRM
  • Slow follow-ups causing cold leads
  • Inaccurate ROI analysis due to inconsistent data
  • Proving the overall impact and success of the event

There is a high risk of losing critical information due to human error, rendering your efforts a waste of valuable time. Having a repeatable strategy in place will significantly reduce and eliminate these common problems.

Building Your Trade Show Strategy

The steps to building your trade show strategy are similar to any business project. Keep your goals realistic and achievable (SMART goals can be applied to almost everything we do). You have to start at the beginning with the basics:

  • Set a budget
  • Define your goals
  • Research your audience
  • Promote the event
  • Plan your follow-up strategy

Technology is the foundation of any successful trade show strategy. According to PEW Research, 97% of Americans own a smartphone; so it’s a safe bet to say that all trade show vendors and attendees will be carrying a smartphone or other mobile device. There’s no better way to connect with your audience than to share event, venue, and product information. Having this information and functionality at their fingertips makes the trade show experience much more organized and enjoyable. Trade show software solutions are a must when it comes to building your trade show strategy.

Trade show software gives event planners and vendors access to valuable data that can be used to measure ROI, connect with new customers, and plan for future events.

Planning for the 3 Stages of a Trade Show

Don't think about your trade show strategy as only planning for the active show. To ensure your strategy is successful, you must plan for each stage of the event by including a pre and post-event strategy as part of your overall planning process.

Pre-Event - Providing vendors with the capability to offer pre-event services that will bring exposure to the event and streamline the registration process.

  • Customized event websites complete with event maps and registration surveys.
  • Capture exhibitor details like booth fees, sponsorship packages, and technology requests.
  • Email marketing tools to create branded emails and marketing campaigns to promote the event.
  • Streamline pre-show allowance negotiation with vendors to reduce admin time and keep all communication in one place.

During the Event - Product ordering plays a large part in the success of a trade show for vendors. Offering software solutions that allow customers to customize purchases by size, location, and provide real-time inventory levels provides a positive experience and increases ROI for vendors.

Post-Event - The experience doesn't end when the show closes. It's important for trade show vendors to have a way to organize and follow up on leads by:

  • providing additional product information with sell sheets
  • sharing product demos.
  • offering additional samples.
  • sending information about future shows or new products.

Not following up with leads is the fastest way to lose a potential customer.

The Solution

A necessary component of your trade show strategy is a dedicated trade show software solution that allows vendors to streamline their process and increase their ROI. Perenso offers software that easily integrates with your CRM and inventory management solutions.