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Today I want to address five at-the-show and post-show strategies for ensuring the best return on investment from your trade show expenditures. You have already set your objectives and determined the strategies necessary to achieve them. You have arranged for the best booth personnel possible and trained them how to qualify prospects and turn them into long-time customers. Now you’re at the show; here are five things you need to do next.
First, make sure that you promote your products well. It was one of your pre-show objectives to make sure that the promotional products that you actually distribute in the booth enhance your brand. This means that you have selected giveaways and test items and promotional products that represent your brand with style and effectiveness. These products represent something that your audience will welcome, something that they relate to easily. They may be objects that are actually useful and that your prospects will hold on to and use on a regular basis. They should have a high perceived value and align with your branding and the message you wish to get across.
Secondly, the promotional products and gifts you make to your prospects and customers must reflect the quality for which you are known. They must uphold your reputation in the marketplace. You have gone to great lengths to target your audience at the trade show; you have prequalified your best prospects; and you are qualifying new customers and clients at the show. We all know that trade shows are expensive so while you need to provide promotional products that suit your audience, you need to be judicious about selecting products that have a high perceived value but that still fit your budget. From the booths to the booth personnel to everything else associated with the trade show, you need to make sure that everything is complimentary to your brand and is specifically planned to provide a substantial return on investment.
Capture the contact info of the people that you will want to follow up with after the show. There are a variety of ways to do this. First of all, if you created a target list of prospects and leads before the show, you should have fairly current information for them on your computer or laptop. Take the time to verify this information when you sit down with your major prospects and customers. If you are meeting people for the first time, and this should be a good number of the people who pass through your booth, make sure that you scan their badge or that you exchange business cards with them because you will want them to contact you direct as well. Set up a followup date and make an appointment to touch base by phone or get together in person. Your goal is to solidify an ongoing relationship, to make sure that they understand and identify with your brand, and to secure their business with your company.
One of the keys to your success at creating solid business relationships is having a good note system.