Whether you’re selling the latest-and-greatest food tech, promoting your amazing new cookies and pies, or you’re trying to get people to take notice of your best sauces and seasonings, food shows are the go-to place to connect with restauranteurs, chefs, and, best of all, foodies.
But you’ve got some competition. You won’t be the only booth at the buffet. And, while tons of foodies will be ready to eat your delicious food and 77% of decision-makers that attend expos find a new supplier at an expo trade booth, they each only spend a total of 8 hours looking at booths. That surely doesn’t give them enough time to check out every booth, right?
So what do you do? You get bready for war! There’s no time for mediokra marketing strategies and subpar booth displays at your food show. Here are some tips that will help you steal food show attendees hearts... and hopefully a pizza their wallet too.
1. Start Marketing Before the Show
Let’s get one thing straight — marketing is kind of a big dill. If you want hungry people or tech-starved restauranteurs showing up at your booth, you need to let them know that you will be at the show beforehand.
How do you do that? You get on Facebook. You make Twitter ad campaigns. And you definitely make some great landing pages and some big, bold, in-your-face CTAs. There’s so much room for experimentation at this part. You can do giveaways, have food challenges, or even do quick, downtown meat-and-eats. The goal is to get people excited about your booth so they make sure they stop by to check it out before the event day is over.
We’re raisin’a toast to all the brave men and women in bright orange hats that attempt to catch people’s attention at bars. Sure! It probably didn’t work in the bar, but it can definitely work at a trade show. You have a ton of booths to compete with. Simple things like bright colors can work wonders for attention-grabbing.
Did you know that color increases brand recognition by 80%? That’s impressive, right? Get ready for this. 85% of customers feel that color is the primary reason that they choose products. Your booths color pattern can get you some egg-cellent results.
But what about your sign?
Go ahead and romain calm, because it’s estimated that 50% of a new business’s first customers come from their sign. Spend some time making that sign and grab their attention, pho real!
3. Sample Time!
Time to taco-bout freebies. Look. We probably don’t need to bust out statistics to prove to you that people like free samples. Why? Because you like free samples, we like free samples. Seriously... who doesn’t like getting something for free. But you need to see a return, right?
You can’t just be giving out free samples without knowing the risks. That’s souper risky.
So, without further, here are some berry cool sampling facts that will prove the return of your delicious freebies.
- Pretzel Crisps maker — Snack Factory — measured it’ sfree sample campaigns over the course of their new product launch. They found that conversion rates for those that tried samples was between 25 - 30%. So, up to 30% of ALL people who tried a sample bought the product!
- Costco measured their free frozen pizza samples for a year. In every store with free samples, frozen pizza sales were up 600%!
- Reciprocity (the urge to return a favor) is an incredibly strong instinctual pull. Dan Ariely said in a recent Inc interview about free sampling that “If somebody does something for you, you really feel a rather surprisingly strong obligation to do something back for them.” And he’s right! People love returning favors. And buying your product can be the return on the favor of a free sample.
The moral of the story? Donut miss out on free sample fever. It’s powerful stuff.
4. Bust Out the Board Games
You want people to have a relation-chip with your food (or products) and your brand. Playing games with them is a great way to create those tasty chips. Let’s start off with the basics. When brands let consumers play games (e.g., trivia, etc.), 32% of them engage for over 10 minutes. The average 30-second ad gets 2 seconds of “glaze time.”
With food, you have so many games that you can play. Get creative. Blindfold taste challenges, “Guess the Food” games, and other unique, engaging opportunities are around every corner. These fun games can keep customers consumed — and hopefully consuming.
5. Be Transparent
How much is your food or food product? Your customers should be able to tell immediately! When customers can’t find your price, they’ll start to feel like your an impasta. There’s immediate friction that they feel as soon as they come near your booth.
Did you know that 74% of people will switch brands if they feel like there is friction in the purchasing process? Don’t let sales slip away. If you’re a little high priced, that’s ok! Use samples, games, or creative branding to lure them in — not parlor tricks and cheesy marketing tactics.
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