What Does it Takes to Make Your Trade Show Participation a Success and Reap Maximum Benefits?
A trade show should be an integral part of a long-term marketing strategy and not just a one-day affair. Therefore to maximize the returns on your trade show participation both long-term planning and deft execution are required before, during and after the show.
Every step is crucial to the success of a trade show. Starting with selecting the right event, next securing the right tradeshow display booth to attract and impress the crowd. What’s your plan for starting conversations? What does your planned presentation include? How will you get contact details on visitors to follow up with after the show? What is your follow-up strategy and what will it include? How will you measure success? Successful shows are experienced when these questions are carefully contemplated and you prepare accordingly.
Many businesses including small and medium enterprises have successfully converted leads generated at trade shows into sales! Their success has been a result of the combined efforts right from the word go! With proper planning and execution, you too can achieve success from your trade show participation as exemplified by Rob in the following story.
Trade Shows Offer a Great Start to a Better Sales Process
Rob is true success story. He runs a home repair and renovation firm in Virginia and he is a regular at all the local home shows and trade show events. He says, “I am able to connect over 75% of my business from the leads generated at trade shows; but not without persistence and patience.” He further adds, “It sometimes takes a year or longer to close some jobs.” The lesson here is to remember that the end of the trade show day is just the beginning of your actual marketing efforts. Post event follow-ups is what leads to closing sales.
Rob would patiently wait and follow up often over the phone, via emails and direct mail pieces to drive his brand. Whenever there was a communication from the prospects he followed-up immediately. “It is important to show your prospects that you value their business”, Rob was a master at the follow-up, as he continues, “you need to be ready with all the marketing collateral to hand to visitors and with a feedback form to collect prospects contact details when necessary.”
“Trade shows offer a great platform to generate leads and eventually close new sales”, says Rob; they give him a chance to, “meet prospects face-to-face and impress them.” He makes sure that, “the prospects get to see examples of my past work, using a big LCD screen fixed at our booth.” Rob says he is able to, “display photo shots taken before and after on the homes of previous clients.”
Rob believes it is important to use time and resources wisely in planning a great booth presentation. He uses all types of electronic gadgets, printed materials and handouts to impress clients. He also says, “I make sure to collect the contact details of every serious visitor at my booth.” He continues, “Time management is crucial too, as there is a limited amount of time and a large group to sift through. I have learned how ask direct questions that enable me to draw conclusions on visitors in a very short period of time to determine if there is genuine interest, then I move quickly to direct them to right person or the right process for follow-up.”
Making Exhibitions Work for Your Business, too!
Rob has been getting results that seem nothing short of a miracle, but what he has been doing is not miraculous. Rob uses simple logic, common sense, patience and perseverance to succeed. You too can follow Rob’s model of trade show marketing and deliver similar results for your business. The final take-away from Rob is, “It is important to plan your trade show strategy as a long-term marketing initiative not as a one-off affair.”