Trade Shows: Are they worth the money? - Part 2

(Continued from last post)

In the last post we considered three ways to maximise your spend on Trade Shows. Here are six more.

  1. Send your best people to man the booths.

You might think that your top sales producer should be sitting behind that card table, but is she really the best person for the job? Can she answer technical questions?

Also, have more than one person man the booth. If one employee is engaged with a prospect, the second or third employee is available for the next prospect to walk down the aisle.

  1. Have product samples that actually work.

If you’re a small appliance manufacturer or retailer and you’ve bought space at the local wedding fair – usually held in late winter a few months before wedding season – don’t just have your products on display, present them – in action.

Blend smoothies for guests in your newest model blender, or have that 12-inch flat screen TV on in the background. You get the idea. Show your products in action.

  1. Create a presentation that runs in a loop.

A short PowerPoint presentation on a DVD, or video of your business and people can be made to run over and over automatically so the booth staff doesn’t have to reload every five minutes. (They may go a little crazy listening to the same narration over and over but it’s a small price to pay for the attention these presentations draw.)

  1. Create walking billboards.

Hand out balloons with your company name on it. Or how about a free tote bag with your company name on it. Give these away for prospects to carry all the give-aways they pick up at trade shows. Each one of these attendees is a walking, talking billboard for your booth. Other visitors will want one of those totes, too, and while you have them there…

  1. Create a quiet space.

Have a couple of chairs behind the main display where your people can engage prospects quietly and one-on-one. I’ve seen more new business relationships created this way than any other single tip. You can take orders right there. Or arrange a face-to-face the following week if you have a little quiet space to talk business.

  1. Draw them in.

You’re competing for the attention of trade show visitors against 123 other companies that bought booth space, all aiming at the same market segment. So, pull in the walk-bys. When I used to do trade shows I used to keep a big brandy snifter on the table loaded with lollies. You wouldn’t believe how many people would stop by, ask “Is this free?” and begin discussing their business consulting needs over a bag of jelly beans.

One client offered good coffee, though the trade show promoter asked him to take down the espresso machine because it was stealing business from the food vendors that lined the outer parameter of the trade show floor. Same thing with a company that was handing out chilled bottled water to passers by.

So, okay, you can’t compete with the food vendors but your can give away candy, home baked cookies and other goods that draw them in instead of ignoring you as they walk by, avoiding eye contact at all cost.

Are trade shows dead? No, but they are smaller and fewer and farther between so take some tips and get the most from your trade show dollars.

You can read the first part of the article here.





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