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SEO for Face-to-Face Marketers

Search Engine Optimization is no longer a preserve for online marketing. Trade show marketing can also use the same concept to lure in traffic, educe customer engagement and provide solutions on the trade show floor!

Notably, as it is the case with online searches, trade shows and exhibitions also have thousands of attendees looking for answers to their problems or questions. Providing a booth experience that follows the concepts of SEO will ensure that an exhibit is search-optimized for in-person traffic.

Understanding the Intent of Your Audience

Notably, every online search falls into three different categories, including:

  • Navigational
  • Informational
  • Transactional

An online search that entails typing the name of your company in the search box is a navigational query. The searcher already knows a little about your company, and their intent is to go directly to your website.

Conversely, any search that involves querying companies or brands that make a particular type of product is an informational search. The intent of this search is not to visit your website, but to know more about the companies that make product X. 

On the other hand, a person who queries the price of a product or service is conducting a transactional search. The intent of this person is to do business with your company after knowing the price of the product or service.

Understanding audience intent depends on these three search categories. Typically, user intent is pivotal to choosing keywords used in search engine optimization and internet marketing. In the same breath, trade show attendees also fall into one of these search categories. Hence, it is important for in-person marketers to understand and cater for all the three types of audiences to enhance visibility, improve conversions and increase sales.


The “Go”, “Know” and “Do” Audience

The “Go” Audience
The “Go” Audience refers to the group of trade show attendees who are ready to visit your booth or that of your competitors. This group is often looking for business and they normally uses trade shows and exhibitions as pivotal points to meet and connect with sellers, brands and other like-minded professionals.Therefore, if you do not set up your booth at key conferences or make your exhibition stand out, then it is the equivalent of not having a website if you were doing online marketing. With this in mind, it is important to make your brand visible so that potential customers (the “Go” audience) can find you easily. You can do this by first exhibiting at key conferences in your industry. Make sure you invest in top-class booth design and use clear, eye-catching signage to communicate your proposition.

The “Know” Audience
As far as SEO is concerned, the hard truth is that the vast majority of online visitors are searching only for free information. The same applies to the real world where most trade show attendees go to conferences and exhibitions just to gather insights before deciding whether to buy or not.With that said, one of the biggest mistakes face-to-face marketers make is not providing information that this audience is seeking. Then again, some marketers may provide the sought-out information, but make the mistake of allowing the attendees to walk away without nurturing them, or even capturing their contact information.Your booth has to feature interactive elements such as product demos and kiosks, which will lure trade show attendees to enter your booth. Once they step inside, you can capture their names, contact info and interests to convert them into buying customers or for later follow up.

The “Do” Audience
The “Do” audience is the group of visitors who know what they want, and they are always ready to buy your products or services. Converting this audience online requires you to have quality products and a clear call-to-action. You also need an easy-to-use e-commerce platform and a responsive sales team to handle the conversions.


In face-to-face marketing, converting these customers means offering demos and free trials that the attendees can test onsite, and providing adequate space in the booth for closing sales. You may also provide an online ordering solution in your booth, where attendees can place their order right away.


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