September 29, 2015

Tradeshow Communications: An Often Overlooked Opportunity

by Erin Johnson

By Guest Blogger, Carrie Scheetz, Quanex's tradeshow and event specialist. 
Tradeshows are busy. There are so many moving pieces: the booth graphics, schedules, customer visits, printed collateral, dinner reservations; the list goes on. An element that often goes overlooked but holds a lot of value is the communications surrounding the show. How you interact with your audience before and after the big event is as important as interactions at the show itself.
Here are my top five tips for communications to make the most of every event:
Think ahead. Before you get caught up in the show logistics, think through all of the communications surrounding the event. What do you want your customers to see from your company before, during and after it? Develop a calendar to visualize a bird’s eye view of all the communications, and then execute. Drafting and scheduling communications, such as emails and mailers, prior to the show will give you peace of mind and ensure your customers will know what to expect from your presence and be followed up with appropriately.
Leverage email marketing. It’s a cheap way to communicate to a mass audience—but use it wisely. The key to mastering tradeshow communications is finding the right cadence. Keep your company top of mind, but don’t bombard your customers with emails. Start with an email once every two weeks and then increase to once a week closer to the show.
Customize your message. Tailor what you’re saying to each of your core audiences. If you can, segment mailing or email lists into different sub-lists based on products, solutions and information that would be of interest to each. The more custom your communications are, the more engagement and interest you’ll receive—and the less likely your customers will tune out when they see your email in their inbox.
Build anticipation. Pre-show emails are the time to get customers excited to see you again and prospective clients interested in visiting your booth. Tease new products, invite customers to a presentation or happy hour at your booth, or host a giveaway or contest. Building anticipation around what attendees can see and expect will keep your company top of mind and ensure they swing by at the show.
Add value. Reaching out to your customers frequently is great, but be sure you’re adding value in every email, direct mail and other communication touchpoint. Whether it’s a link to a video for more information or a downloadable resource, ask yourself each time you reach out what the recipient is getting from it. If there isn’t a benefit, revise the communication to give them something new.
Happy tradeshow season!

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Posted: September 29, 2015 by Erin Johnson Filed under: