When you’re bringing a new product to market, one essential part of the process is to present your product to its target audience. Where, when, and how you choose to do that is key to maximizing your product launch marketing strategy. One effective option is to launch the product at a trade show. For many companies, this provides the perfect mix of target audience and press to ensure maximum publicity potential. But it’s important to do it right. What steps should you take to launch a new product at a trade show? Find out.
Why Launch Your New Product at a Trade Show?
At any given trade show, a large majority of attendees are people who have buying authority and purchasing power. They also tend to be highly motivated. They’re people who are at the show specifically to find new products and new solutions.
Launching your new product at a trade show has the potential to be a huge success. You’re showcasing it directly in front of the people who have the ability and motivation to buy, and there’s no better audience than that.
That’s not the sole reason a trade show can be an effective marketing strategy to launch a new product. Here are some more great reasons to give it a try:
- You can reach existing clients and customers in addition to new ones.
- You get the chance to learn more about your audience in person and one-on-one.
- Combined with a well-planned marketing campaign, you can maximize your overall exposure and boost your brand visibility and awareness.
Plus, attending trade shows means you can:
- Get insight and information about your competition and about the industry as a whole.
- Build relationships with peers and other industry professionals.
5 Steps to Launch a New Product at a Trade Show
1. Pick the Right Shows
Every step to launch a new product at a trade show is an important one in the overall process. But picking the right shows is up there near the top of the list in terms of just how vital it is.
Anyone and everyone is a potential new client or customer—but only if you pick the right shows to attend. It’s not enough that attendees have buying authority and purchasing power if they’re not in your target demographic. If trade show attendees aren’t part of your target audience, it doesn’t matter if they’re motivated to buy because you’re not selling anything they need!
That’s why picking the right shows is all-important. It’s the first step and arguably the most important one in launching a product at a trade show. Do your demographic research, find out who’s going to be at the events, then choose your shows accordingly.
2. Build a Product-Based Marketing Campaign
You can’t just attend a trade show or exhibition and then sit back and wait for visitors to flock into your booth. To maximize the value of the event, you also need to generate buzz based around your booth and get people talking about your new product. An effective trade show marketing campaign will build excitement and include several marketing tools:
- New website pages that highlight the show you’re attending and tease information about the new product
- Social media posts, with a unique event hashtag, to highlight your new product and build interest
- A public relations press kit with a press release, photos, product specs, and any other essential information – This makes it quick and easy to give the media the details they need to write about your product. Any press attending the event are hugely busy, with potentially hundreds of products, brands, and booths to write about. Make it easy for them to focus on yours.
- Regular social media updates during the show to keep the momentum going – This could include posts, photos, video clips, and even a livestream of your first product demo at the show.
- Content such as white papers, data sheets, or digital brochures to provide more detail about the new product – Make these available as digital or print versions at the show and afterwards on your company website.
- Post-show content to highlight the impact of your new product
3. Retool Your Booth Design to Highlight the Product
Few companies have the budget to build an entirely new trade show booth for every show, or even every year. But it’s definitely possible to modify your current trade show display to support and promote your product. Some ways to update your display design include:
- Set up a dedicated product display area that’s specifically for the new product.
- Use backlighting, display stands or cases, and other fixtures to help the product stand out from your other offerings.
- Create a space for product demonstrations – This can be a multifunctional space, since you won’t be doing demos 100% of the time. But with a dedicated demo space, it will be easier to get set up when the scheduled demonstration times come around.
- Add a media presentation to explain the new product, with technical information and any other essential details.
4. Train Booth Staff on the New Product
Your exhibit team should be well-versed in all your company’s products. This means they may need additional training to make sure they’ve mastered all the essential details about your new offering. Depending on the product, this might include technical specs as well as general details. They should also be able to operate the product and show off its most important features.
Whatever the product is, your booth staff should know it just as thoroughly as you do. Even if you’re planning to do all product demos yourself, it’s still important to train at least one member of your team so they can take your place if necessary.
5. Focus on Customers and Craft a Compelling Narrative
Selling a product isn’t just about showing off what that product can do. In order to make your product a big hit at trade shows, you have to connect with potential customers and help them understand why your product isn’t just new or interesting—it’s essential.
Of course, you have to know your product inside and out. But you also need a deep knowledge of your target audience—their needs and preferences and the kinds of problems they have that your product can help them solve. With that information, you can then craft a narrative that puts the customer in the central spot and presents your product as the key they’ve been looking for.
A Trade Show Can Be the Perfect Place to Launch a New Product
Launching a new product is a big undertaking. There’s a lot riding on how well you plan and execute the debut. The good news is, once you understand the steps to launch a new product at a trade show, you can execute a flawless product launch every time.