When being present at trade shows is part of your sales strategy, it is important to make the most of them. Trade shows can be an investment that greatly impacts the sales and marketing budget so it is imperative to incorporate good planning and financial management in order to make your trade show participation a success for your business. With that, here are a few suggested points to consider as you are planning out your trade show schedule for the coming year.
Success at trade shows is more than just ordering the right trade show banners. Careful consideration for where you will have a sales presence is essential to making the most of your budget. Selecting trade shows that draw large numbers of attendees is always good, but making sure the audience is as targeted toward your product or offering is better. Think about the messaging for the trade shows that you are considering. Is the theme inline with what you provide? Is the targeted attendee a title that is typically what you work with to buy your offering? If you have to work too hard to try and fit your message into the theme then maybe another trade show that fits more synergistically into your business is a better spend of your travel money. It does no good to talk to over 1,000 people who are not your target audience.
Setting Goals is the Key to Success
Now that you have your travel schedule, how are you going to measure your success? What metrics will you use in order to say whether or not a given show was worth the expense? It can take months in a sales cycle for some businesses to measure monetary gain. In the meantime, what are the indicators that it was time and money well spent? It can be lead generation or amount of qualified conversations with bona fide decision makers. Set goals and measure you or your sales staff’s productivity by them while they are at the trade show.
The Message for Your Trade Show Banners
You may want to tweak your sales speech to the theme of each individual trade show that you attend so that if fits in seamlessly with the overarching theme. It will be easier for prospective buyers to grab hold of and retain simply because it is what they were hearing throughout the event. If the theme of the show is what drove them to attend, then capitalize on that and reflect it in your sales messaging. You can even incorporate the unique value propositions on any trade show banners that you have created for the event so they are more eye-catching and attracting to trade show attendees.
Setting Up Your Space and Trade Show Displays
Your trade show displays will tell the customer a lot about you without saying a word. You will want to able to allow your display to do some of the talking for you a way that is engaging and provocative so that will draw in the right mix of prospective customers. With all of the other vendors in the exhibit hall all clamoring for the attention of attendees, standing out in the crowd without being overly obnoxious will bring interested parties to your table. If you do not have any trade show displays made already, there are some companies out there that can do anything from simple printing of your logo onto screens and 3D displays to custom-designed packages for the new or expanding business who wants extra pizzaz in their trade show appeal. Talking to a consultant can help you find the right trade show displays to help you meet your goals and coincide with your marketing budget.
Make sure you have a list in with your trade show planning information so you don’t send sales representatives out on the road without the right tools for success.
What to Remember:
- trade show displays or demo tools for conversations
- plenty of marketing literature for the size event
- business cards to hand out to prospects
- attendee giveaways with your logo on them
- technology to run your marketing if necessary
- pens and questionnaires if applicable
Success is yours when you plan to succeed. It is said that, “failing to plan is planning to fail,” and that is equally true of trade show lead generation. Knowing where you are going and understanding what to do once you get there will go a long way to having the right kinds of conversations that you want to be having with prospective clients. Most importantly, the right things in place will create a memorable experience for any attendees that engage with your sales representatives as well. Leave the trade show with a good impression and you will see more business.