Truth be told: there is not a single layer of trade show planning that is insignificant. Much like the engine in a car needs every piece to function correctly and efficiently, so an interactive display needs even the most minor details in line to achieve company goals. However, there are aspects of these events that play a more significant role in generating business - one of them being a company’s call-to-action (CTA). 

A company’s CTA should propel customers into action with your brand, particularly at a trade show. Your on-site trade show CTA should always position your potential client to be in direct communication with your associates. Whereas social media, website or other CTAs may encourage your audience to engage with a 15-day-trial, subscribe to a newsletter or watch a product demo video.

We’ve experienced working with many organization that unintentionally neglected to create or build a trade show plan around this action. Let us share a little bit about how important it is to have two different CTAs to support a trade show.  

On-site CTA

Often, trade show attendees leave an event excited about a few companies, only to see it fade into a distant memory shortly after. This is a problem for businesses because they want to generate long-term leads, not short-term fanfare. We recommend creating an on-site CTA that is different from CTAs that you may use in other places.

The on-site trade show CTA is what takes the attendee from fan-status into a committed client. If an exhibitor is strategic, they’ll be sure that the on-site CTA leads to being in direct contact with an associate from your team. This moves the potential client from being a visitor at your booth to an individual who is having an email conversation, phone call or lunch with one of your salespeople.

Your staff member is then responsible for moving the potential client through the sales funnel and on a trajectory to becoming a long-term customer, all through the on-site CTA of making the personal connection. If the CTA doesn’t lead to direct communication with your team, you might have no way to creating longevity with your potential client, and that leaves the ball in their court and a chance at a competitor being in direct communication, instead of you.

Off-site CTA

CTAs should change per platform. For example, your social media or website CTA would be different than your on-site trade show CTA. Social media is at the top of the sales funnel; it allows you to be in front of your client until they’re ready to pull the trigger. It’s a place that allows you to encourage them to learn more, hear your thought leadership and seed opportunities for them to try your product. You may use this platform to communicate a 15-day trial or encourage them to think through their current product or service and how yours may differ in a stronger way.

It would be great if a brand saw your social media post and directly called your sales team to set-up a meeting, but most the time it doesn’t happen that way. Social media and online are great places to share compelling content that can later lead to a sales conversation.

As you continue to develop and improve your trade show planning and trade show booth ideas, be sure to keep these two different CTAs in mind. And as always, we’re happy to help you determine the best CTAs for your brand.