We work with many clients who spend some serious budget on multiple trade shows every year. But when we ask about the success, the response seems similar: “It’s OK.” Trade shows have become something companies take part in because they feel they need to have a presence. So how do you get the most out of these trade shows?
Evaluate your show list and booth size
Booth space is expensive. And so are the displays, marketing materials and additional advertising. Not to mention the cost of travel for your booth staff. Take some time to sit down and take a really good look at every show you attend throughout the year. Are there some shows you could eliminate? Maybe it doesn’t fit your market that well anymore, or most of your competitors have already dropped it. These are shows that probably could be eliminated. If you feel you can’t eliminate the show, consider decreasing your booth size. You will still have a presence at the show, but will save money on booth space. I bet the majority of your customers or potential customers won’t even notice the smaller booth size.
Train your booth staff
It can be easy to use time at a trade show to catch up with colleagues and get some work done without all the office distractions. However, this can be big turnoff to potential customers. Train your staff to be like the staff at Disney World. Have you ever seen an employee at Disney World distracted or rude? It’s what keeps people coming back. They are greeted with a smile and treated well. Customers and their questions should be the top priority while in the booth (even if they get annoying). Try scheduling your staff in shifts to help them from getting booth fatigue. This also gives them time outside of the booth to visit with colleagues and catch up on any work.
Get leads and nurture those leads
Step one to getting leads goes hand in hand with training your staff. Have your booth staff stand near new products or products generating a lot of interest armed with a lead retrieval device. Most shows offer this as an app you can add to your phone or tablet, or you can create your own lead form to get basic information like name, email and product of interest. After the show, review the leads and categorize them based on their level of interest. Hot leads, such as those who are ready to purchase, should be contacted by a sales representative in their area as soon as possible. Warm leads that may purchase in the future should be put into a lead nurture system. Send them an email thanking them for visiting you at the show and add them to your nurture email list to help keep your company top of mind.
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