With the busy trade show season upon us, there is no question that in the construction industry, trade shows remain a key marketing strategy for many brands. That said, trade shows are typically expensive to participate in, and can be difficult to measure return on marketing investment (ROMI). Furthermore, trade shows are often ineffective for exhibitors for a variety of reasons.
Enter the event marketing experts at the Construction Marketing Association (CMA) to elucidate on how to improve trade show marketing effectiveness using the CMA 41-Point Trade Show Marketing Checklist (presented in chronological order), along with some additional, relevant resources. Finally, you can check out Trade Show Marketing – Case Study in Construction here to add another layer of perspective to your quest.
41-Point Trade Show Marketing Checklist
- Research trade show alternatives based on industry and audience(s)
- Registration with trade show event including listings (often 12+ months prior)
- Determine staffing including internal, channel partners, etc.
- Identify conference speaking or training opportunities Including continuing education if applicable)
- Budget for event and add establish a trade show plan
- Exhibit design/production/shipping
- Travel coordination including hotel, airfare, transportation
- Optional promotion/contest
- Optional premiums/giveaways (possible tie-in with promotion/contest)
- Optional Advertising:
- Paid Search: Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Remarketing, Display
- Social Media advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn)
- Trade print advertising (including show directory)
- Venue advertising (signage, etc.)
- Event calendar submission to local/regional newsprint, media outlets, city news outlets (if applicable)
- Website banner, landing page, calendar listing, registration link, blog, etc.
- Social Media postings
- LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Email lists
- Existing list identification (applications, verticals, roles, geos)
- New email lists (develop, procure incl. exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, prospects, etc.)
- Email campaigns: write/design/distribute; pre-show; customers, prospects, employees, etc.; post-show)
- Coordinate customer meetings including entertainment and training events (in-booth, off-site, etc.)
- Publicity/Media Relations
- Update editor/media list (purchase if needed) to include additional outlets and multiple contacts
- News announcement
- Write, email to editors/media list, newswire distribution
- Add PR to website news page
- Media Alert and/or Media Invite for VIP breakfast or similar
- Press event tie-in with event including presentation
- Public Service Announcements (PSAs) with “Cause tie-in”
- Press file or kit (to hand-out to press event attendees)
- Post-Event Initiatives
- Review Lead Registrations/Distribute
- Thank you emails
- Feedback survey
- Sales calls
- Social media postings
- Remove and/or archive event website content
- Event Reporting
- Summary report with highlights, lead generation, sales conversions, email metrics, pictures/videos, etc.
Other Trade Show Marketing Considerations
In the construction industry, trade shows can be an extremely important part of your marketing mix. To be successful, much planning and timely execution are required. Depending on the scale of the event, planning and execution might be required 12-18 months before the event. That said, careful project management will be needed before, during and after the event. Pre-show promotion, customer and prospect communications, and publicity will be required to achieve measurable results. And results should be measured in every way possible. Ideally sales conversions are quantified to be able to identify return on marketing investment (ROMI).