Guerilla Trade Show Marketing for Health Nutrition Brands

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3 ways to create a stir and drive more traffic to your booth

Participating in trade shows is a great way to create a buzz around your brand, but it can also be expensive and time-consuming. If you’ve ever prepared for a trade show, you know how many man-hours go into making your booth “just right”. That’s why it is especially disappointing when you don’t garner the traffic you expected.

I have been attending the annual Arnold Sports Festival (www.arnoldsportsfestival.com) in Columbus, OH for 10 years now. Every year, I am struck more and more by how difficult it is for trade show booths to grab attention. The sports supplement category is highly competitive, as is the health and wellness industry in general, so it is critical to find unique ways to set brands apart. At the Arnold Sports Festival, the booths that get the most traffic aren’t just hanging better banners—they are creating an experience.

If you are participating in a trade show like the Arnold Sports Festival, you can’t stand around giving out fliers with your URL and hoping to see results online. It’s time to focus on winning your customer in the real world with these no-hold-barred guerrilla marketing tactics:

Don’t tell your story, demonstrate it
Passing out flyers or offering a 30-second sound byte about your product will never be enough to turn casual browsers into a believers. Product demonstrations are nice, but you’ve got to give visitors an experience they will remember. For instance, if you are marketing a supplement that aids in joint flexibility, why not have an advanced yoga practitioner onsite to demonstrate eye-popping flexibility? That may sound like a cheap side show trick, but as long as it isn’t offensive and it stops people in their tracks, there is nothing wrong with doing something unusual.

Make your audience your show
Last, but not least, you have to draw a crowd. No one wants to wander into a booth that is empty because they feel they will be accosted by a salesperson. DO NOT use tactics employed at mall kiosks or the Gap, like yelling out to people who pass by or jumping all over casual browsers. Instead, entice people to visit your booth by making sure everyone in it is having fun. That means getting people actively involved. Create a talk show setting and have a comedian “interview” guests about their workout regime. Lure visitors into ridiculous strength contests that pit them against each other. Anything that gets people involved AND gets them laughing is a win-win.

Turn visitors into advertisements
There are two rules of marketing that will never change: 1. Everyone loves free stuff. 2. Nothing is ever free. Visitors to your booth expect to walk away with something, and you want to make sure that something is an advertisement for your booth. I’m not talking about bags or water bottles, either. Guerilla marketing means having some fun. For example, if you are marketing a supplement that helps build muscles, you might have an artist onsite that can draw caricatures on t-shirts. Each visitor could walk away in a t-shirt with a bigger, bulkier version of him or herself drawn on the front. And, of course, your logo on the back. Imagine how many times people will stop them to ask where they got it?

Read more about marketing your health nutrition brand at trade shows: 

Unique Tactics for Health Nutrition Marketing at Trade Shows

Marketing Health and Nutrition at Sporting Events and Trade Shows

Creating Your Health Nutrition Brand Personality

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/liveu4/245558222/”>Arturo de Albornoz</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>

Written by Jessica Clay

Jessica Clay

Jessica is a competitive athlete and the President of Energize HNM, a health and nutrition marketing agency. Jessica is committed to supporting health brands of every size by helping them define their missions and connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.

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