If you pick the right show, YES! The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), recently released its report called “The Cost Effectiveness of Exhibition Participation” Companies are under more pressure than ever before to measure return on investment, determine the real value from exhibiting and justify their trade show budget. The data shows that it is much more cost effective to close a sale when a customer is first identified at an exhibition versus a non-exhibition means. Companies can save 79 percent by making a first time face-to-face contact with a potential customer at an exhibition. While attendance at major trade shows has gone down, especially in the last year or so, the percentage of qualified attendees is way up. Less tire kickers to take your giveaways! Cut your expenses………. examine the potential for achieving your goals in each show you are considering exhibiting in. The exhibit company you are working with can help you scale back and cut costs while maintaining a professional image. don’t cut out the shows your customers are attending
Pick the right shows to exhibit at: Research to find all the shows that would be most likely to attract YOUR kind of customers. If you belong to a trade organization, go on their websites to find their schedule of shows and events. Check out the chamber of commerce and community events where exhibiting is available. Examine attendance figures for the show you’re interested in, to see if it makes sense to invest your time. If possible, attend the specific show first. Ask exhibitors their reaction to the show ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Learn what to do – and do it : Too many companies fail to realize the business potential of trade shows - -They fail to put the needed time and effort into them - and then wonder why they are not getting results ______________________________________________________________________________________ Plan ahead ….”Fail to plan and plan to fail”….. Figure out what steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goals. Create generous timelines for each task. It’s especially important to know how you are going to follow up with the leads or requests for information that you receive
The Exhibitor Magazine, in conjunction with the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, polled hundreds of trade show and marketing managers responsible for their company’s trade show and events. The results from last year’s goal reflects the main reasons managers feel optimistic about their success in this year’s trade shows. (review each category)
Why have you invested in exhibiting at this show? What do you want to achieve?
Train your staff. Review the “Do’s and Don’ts” of good booth behavior
Determine who is your target….. This helps you figure out what your ideal message should be. For example, if you know saving time is the most important benefit to your ideal customers, find a way to incorporate that message into your booth graphics (it could be in the form of a testimonial) Get cost estimates ahead of time so you can set a realistic budget .Get advice from your exhibit and display house regarding what expenses you can expect and on how to maximize every dollar you invest in your trade show program. Develop 2 or 3 pre-show communications and the follow up communications after the event. Combine postal mail, email and phone calls for the best results. 4) Create a method for capturing the visitors’ qualifying information. At larger shows, rent a card reader…………………… Otherwise, use a form or a pad of paper to which you can staple the visitor’s business card (always make notes to remind you what you discussed and what you agreed to do). Find out if that person is a decision-maker, recommends purchases, influences purchases or is just interested, with no intention to make a buying decision. What other information about your booth visitors would help you qualify them as leads? Also, note the attendee’s level of interest and potential to use your product or service and “grade” them, so you know who to follow up with in what order.
Decide…… you might want a monitor, counters,l iterature holders, etc. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Decide how much booth space you’ll need - and can budget for. Most are set up in 10 x 10’ units, but you can buy as many units of 10 x 10 as you want. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Book your booth space early – you want to get the best location Review show materials ………they will spell out what you can and can’t do, what services you might need to order and by when. Every convention space has its own rules. In smaller venues, like where the Mixers are held, you won’t find many restrictions, and you’re allowed to transport, set up and tear down your own display (which helps to make shows like these very affordable). __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Create a list of tasks - and who is responsible for each task.
Invite current & potential customers, including pre-registered attendees and invite them to your booth. Use direct mail, email, phone , or even fax if that works in your business. Combine 2 or 3 different ways of getting their attention – one of them is bound to work. Entice them to visit your booth by offering a small giveaway item, or have a prize drawing they can enter at the show. ____________________________________________________________ Send free passes – If you can’t get some for free, buy some for your good customers or prospects. ____________________________________________________________ Advertise your participation…take out ads in trade journals, put notices on your website, or maybe even buy radio time - it depends on your budget. ____________________________________________________________ Submit press releases to local newspapers and trade journals about any new product or service you’ll be featuring at the show. And make sure you list those press releases as well as the shows you’ll be exhibiting at on your website.
Your image and message : The most important thing your company communicates at a trade show is your image and message. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Use as few words as possible : Statistics show that attendees take no more than 3 seconds, on average, to scan your display and decide if they want to stop to investigate. One rule of thumb is 8 words or less per 10 x 10 display area ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Images communicate ......... Use stock or professional photos Do not use raw photos of your products Use strong, pleasing color and eye-catching images ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Work with a professional display and exhibit company or graphic designer They help you establish a high quality look and make you look professional. They can also be invaluable in helping you find ways of getting the most bang for the buck. Remember - you get what you pay for: The higher priced designers can usually do it in half the time and with better quality........
85% of an exhibitor’s success lies in the performance of the people manning the booth Stand by the aisle… so you can read attendees name badges and engage in conversation. However, watch your body language – open in a bit to your booth. Don’t look like a sentry guarding his post! Please look pleasant!
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 80 % of all contacts made at trade shows never receive a follow up _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Prepare a follow up plan... How do you plan on dealing with leads? Prepare a letter, call or email and any materials you may be sending ahead of time _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Contact your prospects within 2 weeks of the show, so you’ll still be fresh in their minds _____________________________________________________________________________________________________ Follow up within 2 weeks of sending information
If you do all the things you know you should and put in your best effort, you will win clients. Let me know if you need assistance and I’ll be happy to help If anyone would like a copy of this presentation, please send me an email and I will be happy to send it.
Keys to a successful trade show 2009
Keys to a Successful Trade Show Making your Trade Shows Pay Off
Should we exhibit in trade shows? YES, especially in these challenging times! Cost effective way of closing sales Meet your customers and potential customers face to face Most attendees are qualified to make or influence decisions Cut your expenses and choose your shows carefully
4 Keys to a Successful Trade Show Pick the right shows Learn what to do – and do it Plan ahead Train your staff
Define your objectives New sales orders New prospects Introduce a new product or service Get reacquainted with customers and leads Establish or reestablish your company in the marketplace Be where your competitors are
Do’s & Don’ts of Effective Booth Staff Act professionally Do not eat, drink, or chew gum in the booth Look good and smell good Do not use your phone or Blackberry or converse with fellow staffers
Start Planning Early Determine: who is your target visitor and what are their hot buttons Decide on the ideal message Establish a budget Plan to do 2 or 3 pre-show and post-show mailings Design a lead capture form that allows you to prioritize the leads
Start Planning Early Decide on what you’ll want to have in your booth Decide how much booth space you’ll need Book your space early Review show materials thoroughly Create a list of tasks and a timeline that includes any deadlines
Pre-Show Marketing Invite current and potential customers Send free passes or offers of giveaways Advertise Submit press releases
Don’t Skimp on Your Image Your image and message are most important Use as few words as possible Images communicate more quickly and powerfully than words Work with a professional display and exhibit company, marketing firm or graphic design firm
Do’s & Don’ts of “Working Your Booth” Stand by the aisle Smile Have an ice breaker Introduce yourself
Working your booth Do not sit in your booth Do not be behind a table Be cognizant of your body language
Working your booth Know the company line Ask qualifying questions & record the responses Don’t load visitor with product information Check out your competitors’ displays
Follow Up – Quickly! Prepare a follow up plan in advance Call, email or send within 2 weeks Follow up any sent information
Trade shows are the best way to meet face to face with a large number of prospects and clients Use these tips to make your investment pay off