How to identify and organize your IFTD trade show attendees before the show starts

It doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows it exists. IFTD/ICAST are massive trade shows with lots of shiny doodads begging for attention and lots of qualified trade show attendees. Your success is heavily dependent on pre-event marketing. The more planning and work you do ahead of the show the more attention your product is going to get at the show.

Before we do any major marketing efforts we need to know who is going to be there. Here are some tips for identifying who will be at the show this year:

1) Use a CRM to organize your leads into personas

Prior to any touch points, we need a way to organize our contacts into a CRM. Hopefully, you’ve got a good CRM in place already. If not, we use and love the HubSpot sales CRM. Whichever CRM you use it should do the following:

1. Segment your audience into personas or segments.

The segments you’d probably want to target for IFTD are:

  • Flyshops
  • Manufacturers
  • Buyers
  • Blog/Media
  • Ambassadors

The big reason we need to segment our audience is so that we can send different content to different audiences. Stat after stat shows the power of personalization on email opens and click-throughs . For example, the tone and content of an email to an Instagram ambassador are going to be different than an email to a buyer from a fly shop.

2. Track your interactions automatically.

When sending emails or making calls during your pre-marketing phase, you need to keep a record of who you’ve talked to and when. Any good CRM should do this for you automatically.

2) Utilize your existing network

The simplest list to put together is your existing list of clients and contacts. You’re looking for present clients, prospects, and ambassadors. If your sales team has it’s own list of contact consolidate them into one central location.

Don’t start spraying emails to the attendee list. You need to cut it down and plug it into your persona list

3) Trade show attendee registration list

Your second audience is the trade show pre-show registration list. If you’ve never received this information from the show organizers, contact them about receiving or purchasing it. The registration list is an essential source of information for your pre-show marketing efforts.

It’s important not to blast out an email to all these registrations. You need to cut it down and plug it into your persona list above. This way you can deliver specific content to those that match your personas.

The hard way to find trade show attendees.

So far we’ve relied on existing resources to gather emails. The following two options require a little more legwork to identify attendees.

4) Use Social Media

Another creative way to identify trade show attendees is to monitor social media.

  • Search for hashtags on social networks. Popular tags in the past are #IFTD2016, #ICAST2016 etc.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn ( Angling Trade posts a lot of good info on the show)

5) Web Tracking tools

Use tools to monitor mentions on the web like the Moz Fresh Web Explorer. This tool will search the web over the last 4 weeks and look for mentions of the search terms like IFTD.

Once you’ve found a potential contact you will need to try and gather their email. If you can avoid sending an email to info@company.com or something similar. Also, contact forms are often black holes. If you need to find a real person, tools like Hunter.io are perfect for reaching out to small sites and one-person blogs.

Simply enter a site into the tool…

And you’ll get some of the emails associated with the domain. It’s not always perfect, but it’s a good starting point.
Putting the time and effort into your pre-marketing is essential in any trade show marketing plan. Hopefully, these tools and ideas can help you find success at this year’s IFTD show.