Original Source - Beverage Trade Network
BTN writes about the planning required by wineries, breweries and other brand owners to make their participation in Beer, Spirits or Wine Trade Show count. See helpful info below:
How to Plan For Your Trade Show and Making Your Trade Show Display Stand Out
1.) Prepare, prepare, prepare! Get your marketing companies involved upfront and hold a planning meeting. It helps to have ideas from managers that have been to a lot of Trade Shows.
2.) Register and select a high traffic (open) space—it helps if you get registered very early on and attend the Show the year before so you know “the lay of the land.”
3.) Be sure to find out the size of the trade show display table you will have, whether there is wall space for your company sign, if there are electrical outlets available, and anything else that may or may not be included (i.e. a table cloth, etc.). Set a budget and stick with it—you can adjust for expenditures next year!
4.) Bring your own tablecloth, be sure to get one that complements your display and represents your company’s image and color scheme (without being overpowering). Even if a tablecloth is supplied, bring your own or something to add some depth to your table (i.e. a table runner). Your table will definitely stand out in a crowd.
5.) Set up a stand-alone presentation board. On the board, you can show how clients can benefit by using your services. Be creative and make it stand out. Include pictures, if possible, and be sure your company name and logo are more than obvious.
6.) If there is wall space, but your budget is minimal, use your trusty desktop publishing software to create a template of your company name. Use the template, along with bristle board, cardboard, or foam core to make a sign that you can put up on the wall behind your trade show display.
7.) Arrange your beverage brands or wine trade show display table in levels. Put the larger items at the rear, shorter items in front of those, and even shorter items in front of those. If you’re displaying beer, build a small bar so the patrons can sit at it and feel comfortable. If you’re displaying wine or spirits, make a small lounge with comfy couches. The customers will stick around longer if they feel comfortable in your booth.
8.) Show off your Brewery or your Winery--Develop a PowerPoint presentation or streaming video to display on your table. You can make it on your desktop computer and transfer it to a laptop, which you can rent or borrow if you don’t already have one. Your visitors will find this visually appealing and it will draw in their attention.
Drawing Attention To Your Trade Show Display
9.) Draw attention to your booth: Have plenty of trade show logoed giveaways, such as business cards, brochures, pens, magnets, and anything else that has your company name and/or logo on it. Most people who attend trade shows are expecting to take home some goodies. Offer plastic bags with your brand name on them. And be sure to use display racks for showing your flyers, specials, brochures, and such.
10.) Offer something a little different as a trade show giveaway… FOOD. I displayed at the "NBWA" trade show in Las Vegas and included a basket of pretzels with horseradish mustard on my table—a great compliment for beer! They were a big hit; I wish I had bought more. If you can, package your food in a way that will allow you to have your company contact information on it.
11.) Offer Gift Certificates for some of your services as a trade show giveaway. There’s nothing better than getting a deal and when they “cash in” their certificate, they will see how valuable your services are and will come back for more.
12.) Have a drawing for a Grand Prize—get something nice (Logoed bicycle, motor scooter, decorated can for Parades, or blow up wine bottle are just a few ideas). Offer a prize that in some way complements your business if possible, and appeals to anyone. Have visitors and entrants sign a guestbook, fill in a ticket, or drop their business cards into a fish bowl or gift bag. The great thing about this trade show giveaway is that you can then use this information at a later date to make a follow up contact.
13.) Have a portfolio of your work available as part of your trade show display. Print off some of your best beer or wine displays or contests, put them into plastic sheet protectors, and arrange them in a binder. Then lay out the binder where visitors can flip through the pages.
14.) Hire the right help! If the trade show will be on for an extended length of time, be sure to have assistance in manning your trade show booth so you can take a break. If you don’t have the option of having someone take over for a bit, be sure to put up a note that tells people how long you will be gone or when you will be back.
15.) Most importantly, be friendly and inviting. Say "Hi" to those that turn and look toward you or your trade show booth. Strike up a conversation and be sure to have a short introductory speech ready. And… have fun!
by Curt Prins (originally found on www.craftbrewingbusiness.com)
Craft brewing is exploding in America. You, faithful CBB readers, know this. Per the Brewers Association last month, Americans now enjoy beer from more than 3,000 breweries with another 2,000 coming. This level of choice makes building a sustainable customer base challenging for craft brewers.
Since 99 percent of craft brewers have limited distribution and budgets, most promotional methods remain financially out of reach, and are largely ineffective on a local scale. Unlike traditional tools, mobile marketing can have a huge, quantifiable impact on building awareness, generating taproom traffic and earning customer loyalty for craft brewers. And you don’t need the marketing resources of MillerCoors to impact your bottom line. In fact, most mobile marketing tools remain inexpensive, easy to use and simple to scale up. Having worked with many craft brewers, here are some quick suggestions:
Start simple, with your websiteYour site is how people find out your taproom hours, who stocks your beer and what’s coming out of your tanks. It’s your information foundation. If your goal is to drive distribution sales or garner more awareness at beer fests, you won’t get far if people can’t access your information easily.
Since people don’t walk around with laptops, make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices — both smartphones and tablets. If you fail to take this step, most of your mobile visitors will likely never return, your social media efforts will fizzle and your other marketing investments will be wasted. Many of my clients have found that mobile traffic to their website continues at double-digit growth and often exceeds that from desktop browsers. This step can’t be skipped.
Focus on the beer fans and forget the restI’ve seen many of my craft brewers decrease their spending on traditional marketing tools like print ads or eliminate them altogether. That’s counter to typical marketing logic. Despite the blazing growth of craft breweries, big brewers still control 92.2 percent of the market. While that figure is eroding quickly, a majority of American beer drinkers still remain in the clutches of the big players with their massive national marketing budgets.
And that’s OK. Keep in mind that you are brewers, not missionaries. The general public might not be ready for your over hop-ed IPA, but there are communities of hopheads out there craving for what’s next. And they’re easier to find than you might think. Focus your efforts on those who are as passionate about craft beer as you are, and unless you have wide distribution, it’s best to focus on cultivating a loyal base of beer fans nearby.
This is where mobile, or more specifically, Social-Local-Mobile (SoLoMo), marketing excels. Mobile devices generate the bulk of social media sharing — 75 percent from Twitter and 51 percent of Facebook referrals — per comScore. And much of this sharing is local. Also, 94 percent of smartphone users have searched for local information, according to Google.
Despite these facts, don’t waste your time building or buying social media followers. This happens naturally. With social media viewing rates at a paltry 2 to 5 percent, the value of tweets and Facebook posts is overblown. Just ensure that you’re optimized for local search and social sharing, then move onto their more powerful tools.
The strengths of Google, Facebook and Twitter lie in their mobile ad platforms. You can target by keyword, location and even demographics to reach local beer fans on their smartphones. When they Google a particular beer, tweet about an IPA or just see what their friends are up to, you can be prominently placed on their mobile devices to build awareness and drive traffic to your taproom or your beer fest booth. Unlike traditional marketing tools like advertising, you can spend $20 to test a mobile campaign and either scale it up or shut it down in real time depending on the results.
For one brewer in particular, we tied mobile ads to locations close to the bars and stores that served and stocked their beer through a new distributor. The ads were a success and led to the fastest growth in craft beer sales that this distributor had ever seen in its 30 years in business.
Mobile is not technology, it is behaviorDon’t focus on the technology because people are not mobile phones. People use their phones to snap pictures, answer quick questions and remain connected with loved ones. They also look for cheaper prices on big purchases, scan checks to save a trip to the bank, and find the nearest Chinese takeout place — and if it’s any good.
These are all habitual actions, not technological advances. They become second nature after a few uses. When was the last time you told someone to “just Google it?” Focus on what customer habits you want to cultivate first — filling seats on slow nights, generating more growler refills or getting a holiday sales bump. Then align the mobile tools you need to achieve those objectives. This will save you from wasting money where it’s not needed.
Leverage mobile trigger tools to convert your taproom or beer festsAfter optimizing and promoting, beer fans have arrived and are enjoying the fruits of your craft. Most brewers think that a great beer is enough to drive loyalty and keep them coming back. It isn’t. A great product combined with well-trained staff won’t necessarily guarantee a return visit or a purchase at their local beer store. With more than 3,000 craft brewers in America, it’s a drinkers’ market, and you need to leverage two mobile tools to convert people from first-time visitors to frequent regulars. When they’re onsite, get them to join your email list, or more importantly, your text messaging (SMS) list. It won’t be easy. After their social security number, their mobile number is the most valuable number they own.
When was the last time you told someone to “just Google it?” Focus on what customer habits you want to cultivate first — filling seats on slow nights, generating more growler refills or getting a holiday sales bump. Then align the mobile tools you need to achieve those objectives.Offer the right incentive like a free pint or exclusive access to special offers to drive opt-ins. Ensure that your signage, servers, and even your coasters feature a prominent call-to-action for them to join your SMS list with ease. And if you’re worried about abuse or list churn, most platforms offer controls to combat fraud and typical retention rates remain at 97 percent within a week of joining.
Don’t forget to create separate SMS lists for your VIPs, beer clubs and other groups. Contests, especially when you’re at beer fests, are also great at building lists. A client of mine donates a beer for life membership every year to raise funds to local charities. That annual raffle still drives the most people to opt into its general SMS list.
Use messaging to keep customers coming backBuilding your SMS list won’t happen overnight, but you should see a noticeable impact quickly. Using minimal incentives, like a free pint, you could build a respectable list of 500 people within three to four months. Even my smaller brewery clients have built lists over 1,000 within a year.
You don’t need to wait until you have a large list to start messaging those who’ve opted in. It might take a few months to find your mobile messaging groove, so start right away. When possible, align your beer releases on slower nights and use your SMS list to fill your taproom. Promote your attendance at local beer fests for your fans who will likely be there — drive them to your booth with special swag to reward their loyalty and promote your brand at the event. Build a growler SMS list and promote special pricing to help reduce inventory.
While you don’t want to send out more than 3-5 messages a month, one of the most effective uses of SMS I’ve seen is a brewpub client who created a separate list tied to the annual beer week in her state. She promoted the list via the local press, social media and other means to quickly build a list of over 250 beer fans. She then sent out a daily text message promoting the special offer of the day to drive her busiest week of the year.
Keep in mind that it’s a drinkers’ market — simply brewing great beer isn’t enough to garner success and the loyalty of beer fans. That said, you can easily leverage these mobile tools to grow your brewery. Be sure to concentrate on the behavior of customers and not the technology to build a foundation and focus on beer fans. Once they start arriving and buying, offer a little incentive to get them opted in and keep them coming back.
Curt Prins is a Minneapolis-based mobile strategist focused on beverages, CPG and retail. Harkening back to his college days in inner-city Detroit, he’s on a personal quest for more craft brewed malt liquor.