Trade shows have been an important part of our business growth from the start. Trade shows and events are also an essential tool for many of our successful iGUIDE teams. We spend a lot of time talking with real estate photographers who tell us that trade shows don’t work for them. So we created this video to help challenge those thoughts and show why trade show marketing deserves to be a part of your business growth strategy.
Go Where The Clients Are
When we first launched iGUIDE, we exhibited at our local trade show and found that we were the only photography company there. We knew that we were competing with dozens of other photography companies but none had bothered to attend the show. Their absence gave us a chance to meet dozens of real estate agents, brokers, and industry insiders and take full advantage of the situation.
We learned very quickly that real estate is a relationship business and that there is no better way to meet so many clients and influencers in one place at one time. Thanks to this positive experience, trade show marketing became a cornerstone in our marketing program
Event Marketing Kit
If you’re among the group of real estate photographers who don’t find trade shows to be an effective marketing tool, consider that you may not have been approaching them correctly.
Apply a methodical approach by using our Event Marketing Kit (available to download below). The checklists will take you through the whole planning process focusing on these three essential parts:
1. Announcing the trade show2. Running the trade show3. Following up after the show
Start by thinking of trade shows as a dinner party you are hosting for friends and family. The first step is to send out the invitations. A big part of trade show planning is sending out invitations and announcements of your participation in the event. Create social media posts to share over the weeks leading up to the event to let the people you know and especially the people you want to know about your participation and interest in meeting with them.
Send emails to your existing clients inviting them to attend. Our iGUIDE email templates allow you to send them emails with customized messages very quickly and efficiently. Running your own real estate photography business can be time-consuming and you won’t always get to see your existing clients throughout the year, so letting them know that you’ll be at an event is a great chance to connect. Even if they can’t make it, they’ll appreciate the invitation and gesture.
Don’t forget to send emails to agents, teams, and offices that you want to work with, who have been otherwise difficult to connect with throughout the year. This could be a great opportunity to align your schedules.
Maximize Your Efforts
The next part in our trade show plan is actually running the show.
When friends and family show up to your dinner party, you wouldn’t greet them from the table. You would go to the door and personally escort them inside. The same idea applies at a trade show or event. Be an excellent host. Stand out at the entrance and greet everyone passing by and welcome those interested visitors inside.
First-time guests to your home will usually be given a quick tour. For first-time guests at your exhibit space, be prepared to give them a quick tour of your services. Tell them why you’re there. We always have a number of iGUIDE displays set up for our guests, showing them what we offer. We also have presets of different websites so that we can address the specific tastes and needs of each visitor. Preparation is the key.
Follow Up Is Essential
Just like when your dinner party is over and you thank guests for coming and make plans to visit again, when guests at your trade show are leaving, thank them for coming. Be sure to ask them for a business card so you can follow up after the show.
There’s a lot going on at shows and guests are likely meeting a lot of new companies and making a lot of new contacts. Combine that with them going immediately back to their regular business and you can see why it’s important to follow up to keep your services top of mind.
We enter every person we meet in our database and have email templates ready to go thanking new guests for visiting and including an introduction to iGUIDE as a reminder of our services and value. Follow up emails should including pricing, booking information, and links to your portfolio of work. Follow ups aren’t just for speculative business. You should also send thank you notes to existing clients for stopping by and visiting.
At the end of the day, trade show marketing is as simple as running a successful dinner party. Invite your guests, create a great experience, and follow the visit with a thank you. We follow these simple logical steps when we take part in trade show events and have a lot of success.
If trade shows aren’t a part of your marketing plan, we strongly encourage you to reconsider. Trade shows have been one of our best sources of new business and strongest opportunities.
For even more great tips on growing your real estate photography business, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.