• Mindy Gross

Attending a Trade Show? Capture Leads with SMS

Updated: Apr 12

Overall, people are becoming more comfortable attending In-Person Events.

According to a survey by Innovatis Group, two things play a key role in making a person start attending in-person events again.

  • Vaccine: Now that vaccines are available, we can expect that people will start to have more confidence that the return to in-person events will happen sooner rather than later. In fact, over half (58%) of professionals surveyed would consider attending in-person events sooner if vaccines were distributed to more than 50% of the population.

  • Fewer Cases: Among professionals not yet comfortable attending in-person events, 70% report they would return sooner if the number of COVID-19 cases dropped significantly.

Of course, the primary purpose for having a booth at trade shows and events is to showcase your business and get to know fellow exhibitors and attendees. It’s always fun to meet new people in person.

Before the pandemic, you would find business cards, brochures, pens, notepads, and tote bags galore—all great items, but attendees may misplace your business cards and brochures before they save your contact information.

Want guests to easily add you to their contacts? Want to collect leads?

SMS allows you to do both.

Through SMS, you can collect opt-ins and further encourage them to answer a series of questions—for example: Name, Business, Title, and Email address. That data can be sent to you via email as well as exported to a Google Sheet.

You now also have an interested audience to send your promotional materials to. Simply include a link to your website and a digital version of your marketing materials. Even better—create a vCard link using vcard.link and include it in your text message. When they get your text and click on the link, they can simply add you to their contacts.

How to Encourage Opt-ins

Hold a giveaway. Attendees can easily sign up by texting a keyword to a short code. Be sure your reply follows TCPA guidelines by clearly outlining what you will text to them, how often you will text them, make note that Message & Data Rates May Apply, and indicate how they can unsubscribe from receiving your texts (Reply STOP to cancel) . A few days after the event, randomly select a phone number for the winner.

Get the Most Out of Your SMS as an Exhibitor

In a prominent location, display signage promoting your giveaway. Display a poster promoting your keyword to short code and make note of what they can win.

Include a link to your vCard (digital business card). In your opt-in reply, include your .vcf file. This can be for a specific representative at the booth or business office phone number and address. This way, the new subscriber can simply save your contact information into their Contacts.

Use SMS to send digital promotional material. In place of brochures, share your information digitally. Post the information to your website or upload the PDF to your website. Send the link in your opt-in reply. Perhaps you have some helpful tips you want to share. Establish yourself as a reliable resource and expert in a specific industry or topic through sending your e-books or blog posts. Be sure to shorten links using the AGE SMS built-in Bitly feature. We can track the clicks on those links and provide you with the CTR statistics on your SMS.

Use SMS to send videos. Send links to your demo videos or videos that promote your business's vision and values. If you are a speaker, ask that a fellow business partner records your presentation. In case an attendee missed it, send the link for them to watch it in case they missed it.

Promote a Zoom presentation or podcast. Text the registration link so subscribers can listen in as you provide helpful tips during an online Zoom presentation or hold an interesting podcast interview— establish yourself as a leader in your industry.

Using traditional methods to promote your business such as brochures and to collect leads through written forms or drawings can certainly be effective. Adding SMS to the mix helps to give you a quality lead you can engage with almost immediately.

As you're planning your trade-show strategies, consider utilizing AGE SMS to capture leads, distribute educational and entertaining information, and create a vehicle that allows you to engage with customers and potential customers.

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