Making Your Tradeshow Investment Count

By Jeanne C. Zepp, PR Director, Mid-Atlantic Region

“To tradeshow or not to tradeshow” is a topic that most companies debate annually. As a new business development forum, tradeshows put your firm in direct contact with key industry influencers and prospects, allowing you to display your products and services to hundreds of potential customers in one location over a short period of time. On the downside, tradeshows can be expensive to attend. Beyond the exhibition fee, there is the cost of the exhibit, marketing collateral, transportation for material and personnel, lodging and meals, and more. Yet, that one big sale – or exposure in that major trade publication you have always coveted – can erase any second thoughts about whether these costs were a worthwhile investment.

Increase the Odds of Success

Tradeshow success is not a matter of luck or good fortune. Getting the cost-benefit equation to skew in your favor is a direct result of understanding the marketing opportunities each tradeshow presents and successfully leveraging each one to best advantage. It requires strategizing before, during and after the show with these goals in mind:

  • Know your audiences and the best methods for reaching them.
  • Make your corporate presence known.
  • Drive traffic to your booth.
  • Deliver optimal messaging.
  • Convert prospects to clients at the show and afterward.

Before the show, it is all about preparation. At the show, logistics comes into play, as well as readiness to convert high-value prospects into new customers. It also is about relationships, creating new ones and reenergizing existing ones. Afterward, follow-up is vital to cement the media and business contacts made.

Choose Wisely

Tradeshow selection is more than just attending the same shows based on what you have always done in the past or what your competitors are currently doing. Exhibitors must do far more than just show up with some inexpensive giveaway items as a gimmick to channel tradeshow attendee flow. It means not assuming that your sales force understands the messaging to be used or how it should be delivered. Further, simply hoping that a specific journalist or analyst will drop by your booth is not a strategy for success; neither is waiting for the phone to ring when you return to the office.

Enlist Your PR Team

To ensure your tradeshow attendance achieves the return on investment sought, engage your public relations team early in the process. Their innovative thinking and specialized tools can create buzz about your company before, during and after tradeshows. PR professionals understand all the nuances involved with a tradeshow, the leverage points that can be exploited and the techniques that can position your firm as the industry leader it most certainly is. Consider taking advantage of speaking opportunities, and remember that well-timed and well-conceived social media messages can work wonders, particularly when used in concert with other public relations tools.

Speaking from experience, a well-formulated PR strategy for each tradeshow appearance is the single biggest factor contributing to your tradeshow success.

If you would like to learn more about how PR professionals can change your tradeshow experience, contact DPR Group.


What People Are Saying

At Linortek, we specialize in designing and manufacturing controllers for the Internet of Things, a market involving connecting all type of equipment and devices to the Internet. We made the decision to partner with DPR Group because of the company’s proven track record of securing greater market visibility in the high-tech and manufacturing arenas. In addition, the DPR Group team is flexible enough to adapt their ongoing strategies and programs to help us meet our evolving needs and goals.

Liyu Nalven, Vice President

The key factor for Cimcorp when choosing a PR firm was finding representation that could create well-written, persuasive content and elevate brand recognition for the company in our industry. DPR exceeds our expectations and helps us beyond content creation. They have become a reliable resource for many of our global marketing initiatives.

Lori Vaughan, Marketing Communications Manager
Cimcorp North America

DPR Group has achieved results for that have far exceeded our initial expectations. We look forward to a long-term relationship with DPR Group as an integral part of our corporate growth goals.

Robert Salta

DPR Group’s extensive knowledge and experience in PR and marketing have elevated the Cetrom brand, increased awareness of our services across the industry, and secured numerous award wins and media placements. We value the partnership that has developed and DPR’s contribution to our overall success.

Christopher Stark, President and CEO
Cetrom Information Technology, Inc.

DPR Group’s PR campaigns have helped us increase the visibility of U-TECK’s products for the utility, telecom and construction industries, especially our WeedEnder® vegetation control mattings. Since working with DPR, we have noticed 30% and 50% increases in traffic to our U-TECK and WeedEnder websites, respectively.

Nan Jackson

DPR has been an asset to Barcoding’s marketing department since 2010. Through their expert writing, advice, and connections, we’ve secured local and national media coverage, leveraged the power of search engine optimization (SEO) with a strategy of inbound content marketing, and strengthened our brand’s reputation as a leading systems integrator.

Jody Costa

DPR Group really understands our industry and the unique role InfinityQS plays in it. They provide both strategic guidance and tactical execution to deliver coverage in key trade publications and exposure with industry analysts and third-party influencers. The team is flexible and always willing to roll up their sleeves to assist us in a wide range of marketing activities beyond our traditional public relations initiatives. DPR Group is more than a vendor. They are a true, trusted and valued partner.

Greg Matranga

DPR Group has provided valuable public relations insight and helped us increase our marketplace visibility on a local and national level. Our partnership has enabled us to focus on growing our client base, while expanding our messaging and showcasing our unique services.

Kim Cubine

Since 2007, DPR Group has been a trusted business partner providing expert public relations and marketing advice. DPR Group has secured tremendous positive media coverage for our firm, bringing visibility to our software and assisting our sales.

Felix Pekar

DPR Group is a trusted adviser to both Quality Associates, Inc. and DocPoint Solutions. DPR’s wide range of PR services ensures that our most important news is what our industry views first.

Scott Swidersky
Quality Associates, Inc.

In less than six months, DPR Group has helped Protech develop and launch a new website and successfully introduce Protech Cloud Business Solutions to the market. We truly value the expertise and services that the DPR Group team brings to the table and look forward to a long, successful relationship together.

Brian Bruffey

At this point in time, Hermes has a well-established brand throughout Europe, but the company does not have the same level of name recognition in North America. So we decided to partner with DPR Group to let U.S. retailers know about the full range of e-commerce services Hermes offers for e-businesses and international expansion. DPR Group did a fantastic job for Hermes at the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition (IRCE), promoting attendance at our sessions and scheduling media interviews before and after. We’ve never had as much press coverage at any U.S. event before. I highly recommend DPR Group to foreign companies seeking to launch their products and services in U.S. markets.

Uwe Bald

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