(Continued from Monday's post)
Trade shows are expensive but they can be a good method to 1) attract new customers, 2) connect with current customers, and 3) grow your business if planned and executed properly. Using these 17 Tips will put you on the road to success!
Working the Show
11. Have enough people working the booth that each person can take frequent breaks. This way the people working the booth will always be fresh and motivated.
12. Initiate conversations – talk about the attendee’s needs – you’re there to find solutions to their problems - not to hard sell your product / service.
13. Make your literature available but not necessarily to anyone and everyone. Literature costs money – you want to put it someplace that you can easily hand it to someone you have been talking with or where someone truly interested in your services can access it, but not available to your competitors or every college student who wanders through.
14. Scan their badges – if you’ve talked with them be sure to get their contact information so you can continue the conversation if you determine they fit your targeted customer profile. I recommend the systems that actually give you an immediate printout of the person’s information – that way you can make notes on the printout on specifically what you talked about so you can continue the conversation after the show.
15. Giveaways – another expensive item so use them intelligently. Maybe in your pre-show communications to your targeted prospects you include a coupon for a worthwhile giveaway that will help draw them to your booth. Maybe you have a “fish bowl” giveaway for a significant item but design it in a way so that only people you’ve talked with and screened are eligible. After the show, make sure you tell ALL the people who qualified and entered exactly who won the prize (it’s a good and fun reason to communicate after the show).
Remember: Make sure your company name, website, telephone number, and what you do is clearly printed on all your giveaways. It’s only marketing if it actually helps you get future business by keeping your name in front of your prospects.
Post Show Communications
THIS IS THE STEP THAT TURNS A TRADE SHOW INTO A PROFITABLE INVESTMENT OR A WASTED COST!
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 80 percent of exhibitors do not follow up on leads. Don’t be one of them!
16. Put a specific plan in place explaining how you are going to follow up with the prospects and customers you met. Screen the list of contacts you made – which are the best prospects for you? Start with them. How are you going to follow up with them about their problems and your solution? Make sure that specific employees are assigned to specific prospects and an accountability plan is in place.
17. Use the notes you made when you scanned their badges to create personal communications and phone calls. Realize that trade show attendees are overwhelmed with generic communications right after a trade show – how are you going to make your company stand out?
Idea: you may want to wait a couple of weeks before contacting your list just to remove yourself from the ‘post show clutter’. Don’t wait if the prospect indicated an immediate need.