It’s the electronic age. If you want to do something with marketing, it must be done digitally, right? If you want to distribute information, you have to do it on the web, with website content, blog posts and share on social networks. So why go to a fair? No one wants to go through a convention center and get out with sore feet. Let’s go sit at Starbucks and read all about it on our smartphones. Yes, it’s a different world.
But is it really? How much do you really learn about that new software package by looking at an image on your website. And how can you really appreciate the size of a storage system that is as tall as Madison Square Garden. So, sometimes you just have to go put on your running shoes and go to the fair. And how will you know it is the right program for you. Because he probably received a good piece of direct mail, or two, from one of the exhibitors, inviting him to visit with them when he gets there.
In this digital world of electronic communications and gadgets, direct mail is still one of the most widely used methods for marketing the show. In fact, direct mail now averages 30 percent of advertising budgets spent to attract attendees to trade shows. Even “snail mail” is still very affectionate to getting people to the show.
How to make it work.
So the exhibitor did not just send a postcard and we hope to see the people at the show. They have to start around 4 weeks and create some awareness. Send it to all your customers and prospects. That list is extremely important for success. They need to let them know they are on the way. Put it on your calendar. And start thinking about what you can expect to see and learn at the show. Then, about 2 weeks, they hit you again. Now, you are getting excited. Get non-planners to start planning. Time is coming. With the current technological advances in printing, they can send different versions to different audiences. Split it all you want. You and your spouse can get a piece. A different piece. Then send him something. Like a flash drive with very good info. Here’s the thing about gifts. This is something you can touch and feel. You can never do that on the Internet. How about some complimentary tickets? Offer something free when you visit your booth.
And talking about that post. Count them hitting their socks with that. Make the graphics GREAT! Do not dilute the message with a lot of small things. You just glaze over that. They will make it all tie. Direct mail, letters, gifts, booth, and even your outfit. It’s all stacked against you.
And, they will do everything. They need a customer database, response rates, and what got the most attention. Direct mail still has its place in the world of the fair. And it’s an important part. So do not get caught up in the high tech world thinking that’s what it takes to make the show work. Proven and true methods can still be very effective, especially when combined with some of today’s innovations to increase response rates. Direct mail can be effective and fun. After all, he took you there.