How to get the most marketing mileage at a dental tradeshow

by Lanmark360


January 24, 2019

So you’ve secured your company’s booth space at an upcoming dental tradeshow. You’ve got plans to staff it with your “A” team—the right mix of salespeople and product marketing managers to help answer questions and turn browsers into buyers. However, simply being there is not enough. It’s best to get out from behind the booth with a strategic mix of public relations efforts to make your product stand out from the crowd and help keep it top of mind in the minds of those that matter most.

In-booth product demonstrations

If seeing is believing, then touching is buying. When a dental professional is interested in a product, once they get hands-on with it, touch it, and get a feel for how well it works—and most importantly—how it makes them feel when they use it, they’re more apt to make a purchase. That is why in-booth product demos are important to help turn prospects into customers.

For even further reach beyond the tradeshow floor, consider capturing in-booth demos on video. Be sure to enlist an agency that has full video production capabilities. Footage taken at the booth can be edited to impart a polished and professional look that caries your brand image, and the video clips can be posted to your company’s Facebook page, Instagram feed, and corporate website or product-specific landing page.

Press conferences

Dental tradeshows are terrific venues for product launches. You’ve got a “captive” and receptive audience of hundreds or even thousands of dental professionals that are ready to be wowed, and you’ve also got access to key players in the industry, such as members of the dental press, key thought leaders, and other A-list dental personalities representing virtually every dental product category and every dental specialty.

Setting up a press conference to take place during a dental tradeshow can be daunting—you’ve got to find the right space to conduct it (should it be held at the booth, in a meeting room within the tradeshow venue, or at an off-site location, such as a nearby hotel?); you’ve got to invite all the right dental people, dental press, and dental industry movers and shakers; and you’ve got to have a plan in place to follow up with everyone in attendance after the show to make sure they’ve got what they need to help spread the word about your new product throughout all the important channels both in print and digital (blogs, vlogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc).

When choosing an agency to facilitate a press conference on your company’s behalf, look for a full-service agency that specializes in dental, has all the right industry connections, strong relationships with key thought leaders, and a proven track record of success in getting those seats filled with people who will continue to champion your product in the weeks and months after the tradeshow ends.

Editorial meetings

These one-one-one meetings are a must to help keep your content on track with the strategy you’ve developed for your product. During an editorial meeting, a product manager and your agency’s PR manager sit down and discuss your product’s features and benefits with publication editors. These more intimate meetings provide editors with a hands-on look at the product, perhaps even a demo, if possible. Being one-on-one drives more interest than simply reading about the product, and opens the door for article opportunities. Face time between the dental media and your company’s product manager is infinitely more valuable than simply firing off press releases en masse. There’s nothing wrong with press releases, they just don’t work well in a vacuum. They’re an important component of an overarching product launch strategy—and should be considered an integral part of an integrated marketing campaign.

Panel discussions

You know what draws a crowd? Video cameras, lighting rigs, and people gathering around to see what’s going on. Thanks to curiosity, crowds beget crowds. A panel discussion can be had at your booth (provided there’s enough space) or in another area within the tradeshow venue. Panel discussions are typically comprised of a moderator, or host, and two or three other key individuals, such as a product manager, a category expert/key thought leader, and a practitioner. It’s good to assemble a well-rounded panel, so that all aspects of your product or service can be discussed:  A product engineer/rep can provide insights regarding the product’s inception, how/why it’s the best solution to solving a problem and how it address end-user pain points; A clinician can provide validation from a real-world clinical efficacy/functionality standpoint; and a KTL can add credibility to the product from an overall industry trends/deep research perspective.

Long live video, long live your marketing tactics

From a bang-for-your-buck standpoint, in-booth demos, press conferences, editorial meetings, and panel discussions can deliver an impressive return on investment when utilized as ongoing, long-term marketing vehicles. Tradeshows are a fleeting experience. Capturing these events on video, editing them for clarity and impact extends their reach well beyond the confines of the tradeshow floor, and for a period well beyond a few days. This is because you have the ability to repurpose video content for use in a variety of other promotional avenues, such as social media content, website content, or to support instructional and educational purposes, and this tactic can continue for weeks and months after the show has ended.

Get the most marketing mileage at your next tradeshow exhibit. Get in touch with Lanmark360 today and check out our agency capabilities sheet here.

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