This article originally appeared on SMPS Boston’s website.
by Tim Asimos
Industry trade shows and conferences are staples in the A/E/C marketing mix, and typically represent a large line item in a firm’s marketing budget. With all the time and resources that go into trade show participation, ensuring your firm maximizes the investment is essential.
Exhibiting at conferences provides A/E/C firms an ideal opportunity to build brand awareness and thought leadership, showcase their expertise, network with prospects and teaming partners, generate new leads and engage existing clients. Industry conferences are a target audience-rich environment, providing your business development team and firm principals face time with many prospects and clients they may not otherwise have an easy time getting in front of. This is precisely why conferences are often a cornerstone in many firms’ marketing plans.
Most A/E/C firm leaders believe that trade shows are important, but truthfully, many come home wondering whether it was worth their time and money. But with some proper strategizing and planning, you can get improved results. Here are 12 ways to maximize your A/E/C trade show marketing strategy and get the most out of your firm’s investment.
1. Be strategic about what trade shows you attend
2. Start planning far in advance
3. Don’t just be exhibitors, be presenters as well
4. Set specific goals before the conference
5. Choose a theme for each conference
6. Work with business development to identify high priority targets
7. Spread the word in advance of the event
8. Design your booth and messaging for impact
9. Make your booth space open and inviting
10. Develop a booth engagement plan
11. Create a post-conference follow-up strategy
12. Set up a post-conference debrief meeting
Your A/E/C firm has invested a lot of money just to be exhibiting at a trade show, so it is imperative to ensure that you maximize the return on investment. Don’t get caught up in the tactical details. Instead, put forth the necessary strategy, planning and effort to make your investment worthwhile.
Visit SMPS Boston’s website to read the whole story.
Tim Asimos is vice president and director of digital innovation at circle S studio.