Over the last decade, traditional marketing efforts have transitioned out, and digital and online marketing has moved in as the "big dog" in marketing town. Businesses used to attend trade shows when they needed to launch a new product, make big company announcements, build brand awareness and connect with potential customers.

Today, a lot of that work will happen online through inbound marketing efforts before the event even happens.

Unfortunately, a result of this shift has been that some companies have decided to pack up their booths and stop attending trade shows all together. They believe attending these events are no longer relevant, and that their marketing budget is better spent on activities with a higher, traceable ROI.

Yet, trade shows haven't completely disappeared, which means people must still be attending them to some capacity right? Every industry is different but the continued existence of trade shows begs the question:

Should you still be attending trade shows?

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When it comes to marketing, ROI is often what matters most, when you're reporting results of your strategies up the chain of command. Unfortunately, the more you need to demonstrate ROI in certain situations, the more elusive it can seem. 

And justifying the expense of attending a trade show is certainly not exempt from that. 

Think about it: How many times have you attended a trade show and after the fact thought, "Wow, I really got a lot out of that," only to later be asked by your boss, "So, what deals did you close? What is the actual dollar value we got out of that event?"

"You're so wise, Kim - that happens to me all the time." - You (Probably)
 

No one likes having that conversation, especially if you don't have results to share. The trick here is to understand that marketers are often chasing long-term goals like increasing brand awareness - which are not always easy to measure. But you may come back having to show short-term sales-oriented results.

The good news it there are ways to bring those two things together: finite trade show results that don't undermine long-term marketing strategies. But it does require effort before, during and after the trade show.

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When preparing for a trade show, promotional products are often at the top of the list for things to order. From pens and brochures to displays and banners, you might think you have it all covered when stocking up for your event.

But did you know that there are even more opportunities to use promotional products to maximize your ROI on your trade show exhibit? 

Here at Quintain, we like to get creative and take advantage of every opportunity to make an impression on a lead from a trade show. It's not just about ordering some stuff with your logo on it; it's about being smart and strategic about what promotional items you choose and when you use them. 

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Your strategy for a trade show or event should never be created in a vacuum. It should always be a part of your larger marketing strategy and feed directly into your business goals. So, when planning for a trade show, make sure you're incorporating all of the channels which are a part of your normal strategy.

I've already talked about about incorporating inbound marketing and video into trade shows, so now let's talk about how you can make the most of social media at a show.

Just like any marketing strategy, your plan should be directly related to your goals. When deciding how to properly use social media to meet those goals, think about your funnel. Specifically you need a plan in place for reaching prospects at each stage: awareness, consideration, decision and even for current customers.

Now all you have to do is match your approach to your prospect's stage!

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The Guide to Creating Mind Blowing Content

Let's face it, there is a lot of content out there. How do you get yours to stand out? Simple, make it mind blowing.

42 pages full of ideas for creating awesome content that converts visitors into leads and leads into customers!

Video and trade shows have always been seen as two separate parts of a marketing strategy. Like two different dishes in a meal, they are both delicious, but not eaten and enjoyed simultaneously. Well, ever since I was a kid, I was always the one to mix all my food into a giant pile and eat it all at once. 

And that's just how you can look video and trade shows. Yes, they function well enough on their own, but put them together and you have something that is even tastier. So how do you do it?

The most successful combined video and trade show strategy should be broken down in a linear timeline: before, during and after the trade show. Read on to learn how.

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In 2013, I questioned whether businesses should continue a traditional trade show strategy and shared the need I saw to integrate other marketing activities with trade show and conference strategies in my article Trade Shows: A Necessary Evil?

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We think we're pretty good at what we do and, more importantly, our clients feel the same way. If you are a small business owner with annual revenue of less than $20 million, you should take a real hard look at outsourcing your marketing to a company like ours. Why? Because what got you to where you are is not going to get you to where you want to go. I’ll give you four examples of what I mean.
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