PLAN YOUR NEXT ACTION AND YOUR NEXT ACTION WILL DICTATE YOUR BRAND TRAJECTORY.
IF YOUR NEXT ACTION DICTATES THE NEED TO PARTICIPATE AT TRADE SHOWS, MAKE IT THE ANCHOR FOR YOUR SUBSEQUENT MARKETING ACTIONS.
THE FACE-TO-FACE MEETING SHOULD BE NEXUS AROUND WHICH YOU CREATE YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING EXCELLENCE
START WITH ANNUAL STRATEGIC PLAN
Create one overall logistics plan
Identify & manage vendors (exhibit house, shipper, etc.)
Assign a Logistics Coordinator
ONSITE EXPERIENCE PLAN
For largest show(s), develop a compelling activity
Assign a Coordinator to execute on-site
LEAD HANDLING PLAN
1. Identify the software used to warehouse leads/lists
2. Organize database structure (field labels, sources, etc.)
3. Develop one standard ‘fulfillment’ approach
4. Develop one standard lead distribution strategy
5. Determine metrics for measuring success
7. Assign a Lead Management Coordinator
Outreach: Social Media & Marketing Plan
1. Consider Email Marketing + Social Media + Smart Phone
2. Develop a standard approach for invites & traffic
3. Select specific social media sites
4. Develop a messaging plan + editorial calendar
5. Assign a Community Manager
6. Connect Community Manager to writer/editor
(If Facebook is planned, add “Like” button everywhere)
Outreach: Press & Industry Plan
1. Create a single, overall plan
2. Identify media/industry outlets + reporters to focus on
3. Create an outreach/pitch plan (newsworthy topics)
4. Anticipate/plan to create content, on-site
5. Assign a writer/editor (w/ shooting & editing abilities)
Outreach: Strategic Partners Plan
1. Identify partners, develop a single, overall plan
2. Assign a Strategic Partner Coordinator
EXECUTE THE SHOW
Pre-Show (start 3 mos. prior, per show)
1. Fine tune floorplan, graphics, products
2. Staff list + badges + attire
3. Order show services
4. Instruct staffers w/ necessary info
5. Travel & hotel arrangements
6. Arrange shipments
7. Implement 3 Outreach Plans
1. Exhibit installation + product setup
2. Staff huddle (before & after hours)
3. Engagement throughout
4. Execute ‘experience’ (party, dinner, etc.)
5. Capture the show – video & photos
6. Competitive review & mystery shopping
7. Implement 3 Outreach Plans
1. Coordinate logistics
2. Implement Lead Handling Plan
3. Thank your staff
4. Create a Show Report (standard format)
MEASURE RESULTS - 1 WEEK LATER
1. Budget Reconciliation
2. Gather metrics (against goals)
3. Insert details into Show Report
4. Review results with your team
5. What worked? What didn’t?
6. Recommendations for the next
7. Review results with Exhibit House
8. Recommendations for the next
Note: Because sales cycles can be very long, sales metrics should be formally measured end-of-year.
ADJUST FUTURE GOALS - RESET GOALS ANNUALLY
Annual Planning Summit
2. Assemble a wide range of data assets at the customer level
3. Identify the right data to develop the necessary insights
5. Show schedule
(For example: Number of booth attendees, sales impacted, Facebook fans added, Twitter followers added, derive actionable insights to drive improved customer life time value, generate significant and sustained business value.)
Design Your Booth – Annually (December)
1. First build? — Consult exhibit house
2. Existing inventory — Map out usage
DESIGN AND MESSAGING
1. Key messages
2. Consistent across all
3. Unique by audience?
KNOW YOUR "MESSAGE TOOL BOX"
The "engagement message" is the hook, usually expressed as a problem or opportunity designed to literally engage the target audience in a dialogue.
The "solution criteria message" suggests criteria that must be met to address the problem or opportunity shown in the engagement message, regardless of the vendor selected.
The "product reinforcement message" is when you introduce the product by name. Whereas the engagement and solution messages are about the buyer, reinforcement is about our product and how it is the best option for satisfying the conditions stated in the solution message.
The "value message" is designed to show how life for the customer will be better than before by using the product. It's benefit-focused.
DEMOS AND ATTRACTION
1. Product demo plan
2. Staged/canned activities
3. Design activity zones
4. Giveaways? Promotions?
If trade shows are part of your overall marketing strategy, take the necessary steps to do it right. Because, the people who attend trade shows are interested in the specific industry. They are hyper motivated, interested in the products or services your company has to offer, and often ready to commit to a deal on the spot.
Plan your way. Make today count!