Leverage Exclusive Events to Increase Trade Show Traffic - B2B Marketing and Sales Tip #115

Ever notice how people will go way out of their way and wait in the longest lines to be part of an exclusive group or the first to experience something new, then word spreads and a frenzy ensues? Witness the iPhone phenomenon. Here are a few techniques for stimulating your own frenzy of trade show traffic.

In my last position, I wanted to call out all of the stops at one major industry event to take our booth traffic to new levels and stimulate huge buzz to raise brand awareness. I decided to leverage word of mouth techniques to accomplish this goal. So, my team produced an exclusive, invitation-only after hours party at a swank club in Las Vegas immediately following the close of the show floor.

We gave a small number of invitations to our customers and partners who were attending the event and they helped us generate so much buzz for the event that we had attendees lining up at the booth for a chance to get an invite to the party. Once inside the party, we lavished our guests with food, drinks, attention and gifts—one of which was a killer t-shirt that many wore to the show the next day which led others to visit the booth.

The event has now become an annual affair for NetQoS which more than 500 attending the last party in Anaheim. The event is no longer exclusive, but it does have a widespread reputation as the must-attend event at Networkers.

So, take a tip from New York club promoters and offer exclusives to get people excited about you and stimulate WOM. Invite your customers and partners and encourage them to spread the word for you.

Oh, and here's another related tip for driving booth traffic: sponsor a keynote drop. What's a keynote drop? Some trade shows enable marketers to produce cards or flyers that are placed on the seats at the Keynote presentation. It's more targeted than a hotel drop and instantly actionable. If the trade show does not offering a keynote drop, that's even better. Contact the show organizers and offer to sponsor it exclusively! They will be happy to have the additional dollars and you'll be the only game in town.

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