When attending a trade show, you represent your company two ways: through your marketing collateral, and through your people. When it comes to both, the right strategic decisions can make a significant difference in how you’re perceived—and your success at the show. Here are a few things to consider.
Marketing Collateral and Strategy
When planning out your promotional strategy, be aware of the different types of collateral there are—and how each one is used. Here’s an overview of your most common options:
Brochures. Brochures usually work as a prospect’s introduction to your company—who you are and the types of insurance you specialize in. These things will need to come across loud and clear. Be aware that everyone at the trade show will likely have some kind of brochure, and any visitor to your booth will probably be carrying a stack—so invest in the design and copywriting in yours to make sure its message doesn’t get lost. Be sure it communicates the clear benefits of working with you and what you have to offer against your competitors.
Flyers. A flyer is a one-page promotion that can be the size of a page or a postcard. These often highlight one thing at a time—a single insurance product, for example—and it can be useful to print flyers for several of your most important areas of specialization.
Case studies. A case study highlights a specific story; its role is to make your company look good by demonstrating how you helped a prior business associate. As with flyers, you can print out several case studies that highlight different areas of specialization you have, or demonstrate your ability to help problem-solve about specific insurance needs in innovative ways.
Article reprints. Were you interviewed online or in a print publication? Have you written an article for a trade journal? You can showcase that expertise by offering reprints at your trade show booth. Contact the journal to ask for a reprint or for permission to reprint it on your own. These pieces can go the extra mile in showcasing your expertise, because they are effectively endorsements of confidence from a third party.
Choosing The Right Representatives
Choosing the right people to represent you at your booth is crucial. It’s always advisable to choose people with in-person sales experience, but insurance is a highly complex industry and in the wholesale insurance business, your specialized expertise can make or break a sale. This is why it’s important to choose representatives who are not only comfortable in a trade show sales environment, but who possess enough knowledge about the lines of coverage you offer to serve as an expert representative to prospects.
You might be tempted to choose more gregarious and extroverted people to staff a trade show booth, and this is a good strategy—it’s always great to have people at the booth who can work a crowd and draw people in. However, don’t write off a quieter, more introverted personality. More introverted salespeople often excel in one-on-one environments, and these types of people can be ideal for individual discussions and conversations with highly interested prospects. Often, an optimal team includes one gregarious extrovert who can attract and engage visitors and large crowds, and one serious insurance expert who can nail those in-depth conversations with high-level prospects.
There are plenty of ways you can represent your wholesale insurance brokerage at trade shows. Marketing collateral and your sales representatives are often the most visible, however, and you’ll need to choose strategically in order to create a good first impression. Know your audience and choose sales representatives and marketing messages that are appropriate for that audience, and you should be able to generate plenty of leads at your next trade show.