Trade shows are an amazing opportunity for healthcare companies to pinpoint potential leads and engage with them one on one. But many organizations spend a large amount of money to attend conferences without developing a pre- or post-show healthcare trade show marketing strategy. Additionally, many fail to follow-up on, or nurture leads they’ve engaged at trade shows. This is extremely wasteful, and businesses are missing out on the opportunities and potential value of attending them.
But with a strategy in place, you can maximize this value and turn the attendance fee into a lucrative investment that increases sales and grows your business.
Pre-show strategies to build hype
Building anticipation before the trade show is half the battle, and there are several ways to get your brand top-of-mind before the showroom doors have even opened. Here are a few pre-show tips to generate buzz:
- Send out invitations: A conference is packed with competitors, each trying harder than the next to get their name out there. Get a jump on their efforts by sending out personalized invitations early on. Email is the ideal channel for this kind of messaging, and gets you out of the blocks early to avoid bottlenecks of information that tend to irritate attendees in the days just preceding the event.
- Spark hype on social media: Be responsive to user comments or queries and proactively visit event groups to show your enthusiasm and give users a taste of what’s in store. Launching competitions (to be drawn at the trade show) can be an incredible way to accumulate lead information before the event.
- Product reveals: Consider aligning a new product or service launch with your most important trade shows to maximize awareness and excitement.
- Paid advertising: Creating paid media campaigns centered on the event will grab attention and keep leads updated as the conference nears. You can employ a number of directions, including:
- Collateral that serves as functional information, such as dates, times, floor location, and any activities you’re planning, etc.
- Creative executions, including behind the scenes imagery of the booth being created, or short clips of what’s in store for them on the day.
Generate buzz during the show
Follow through on the pre-show hype by surprising and delighting attendees throughout the conference. Ensure your booth is visually appealing, interactive, and that you’ve picked a team with excellent communication and sales skills. On the day, physical collateral such as informational brochures, business cards, and display place cards should be distributed and strategically placed to maintain brand line-of-sight.
Here are a few other effective tactics to reel prospects in:
- Capitalize on all opportunities to bring people to your booth, including exhibit hall announcements. These alerts could be about prizes and giveaways, product samplers, live demonstrations, or the unboxing of a brand new product.
- Engage people with activities or competitions that generate on-the-day word of mouth and more foot traffic to the booth. There are a ton of effective attractions that are proven to attract leads, such as including plug-and-work areas at your booth, branded giveaways, or scheduled talks from medical specialists.
- Your crowd-boosting efforts will go to waste if you don’t have a tool to capture lead information. For example, HubSpot’s Business Card Scanner Tool automates the traditionally manual task of data entry, reducing friction and ensuring you store every lead’s details, quickly and easily.
- Have a dedicated social media professional active on the event’s social platforms and walking the exhibition floor. They should also be following the event’s hashtags, and interacting with user comments and posts in real-time.
Post-show strategies to maintain the buzz
You could allow yourself some time to recover, but that would be unwise when you consider how much work went into your healthcare trade show marketing strategy. Additionally, more than 80% of leads captured at trade shows are sent some form of follow-up after the conference. This proves that it’s vital you capitalize on your hard work while your services are still fresh in their minds.
- Offer the lead tangible keepsakes from the event, such as physical, branded ‘thank you’ notes.
- Log on to LinkedIn and send requests to connect with your newly gathered leads. You could also create a lead nurture campaign via email for those prospects who aren’t quite ready to purchase yet.
- Enhance your digital influence by creating content about your experiences at the show and sharing it on your blog and social media channels.
Embrace the full trade show experience to secure new leads
Trade shows are places of convergence, where digital interactions and online marketing efforts come together in the real world. One-on-one communications with prospective customers at trade shows create personal connections that make it more likely a lead will choose you when they’re ready to buy.
KBK Communications exists at the nexus of medical and digital and can help you develop, execute, and capitalize on a holistic trade show strategy that drives genuine business growth. Get in touch today to lay the groundwork.