You’d like to do trade shows better. But you don’t have the time. But what if you could find more time? What if there were activities you could do that would either save you time at every show, or are worth spending extra time on to reap huge benefits later?
Here are some ideas in key trade show areas:
1. SAVE TIME: Can you find a promo that works across multiple shows, so you don’t have to create, source and buy a promo at every trade show?
2. INVEST TIME: Take time to define your buyers’ demographics – age, gender, mindset, occupation. Get into their head, get promotions they will crave, and then they’ll be more people in your booth every show.
3. SAVE TIME: Qualify the leads in your booth, so you don’t have to take the time after the show. Only send the sales ready leads to sales.
4. SAVE TIME: Get a lead retrieval machine that scans the badges of attendees. That way you don’t have to write down their contact info if they do not have a business card. You can also get an Excel file after the show that has all the lead data in it, so you can import it into your contact management system without having to re-type your leads.
5. INVEST TIME: Create a closed-loop lead system that quickly gets your trade show leads in the hands of your sales force, and then lets you easily measure how well the leads converted. You’ll gather essential info for judging shows and reporting to management.
6. SAVE TIME: An hour before the show, do a pre-show meeting in the booth to review booth staffing basics and what staffers need to know about that specific show. Then appoint a veteran staffer to review the basics with inevitable staffers who show up late, so you can focus on other last minute booth details instead.
7. INVEST TIME: Measure how many qualified leads each staffer gets per show, or even per hour they staff. Then you know who would make the best staffers at upcoming shows. You’ll save time recruiting for staffers, and you will get many more leads per show.
8. SAVE TIME: Get a display that is faster to set up and tear down. That way you can arrive later at the show, and leave the same day the show ends, saving a day or two. Here’s more info about the new Skyline® WindScape™ Exhibit System, which sets up in a fraction of the time of even existing portable displays, let alone traditional custom exhibits.
9. INVEST TIME: Figure out what really separates you from your competitors in the eyes of your best buyers, and make that as explicit as you can on your exhibit graphics. Make it very clear what products and services you offer. That way, your exhibit will help filter visitors, so only more qualified leads walk into your booth, and you waste less time with unqualified prospects.
10. INVEST TIME: Track your sales from each show, and then rank them by their return on investment. Leave the shows that are at the bottom of the list, especially if they are not profitable and serve no other valuable marketing goals. Now you do less shows.
11. INVEST TIME: Call 10 or 20 of your best clients, and ask them what shows they go to as attendees. Are these the same shows you exhibit at?
12. INVEST TIME: Ask your top management what are their marketing goals for the year, and next few years. Do the shows on your trade show schedule enable you to meet those goals?
As you noticed, there’s little time to be saved selecting shows, but there are huge opportunities to invest time and boost results.
You certainly don’t have time to do all of this at once. But you can carve the time to do one thing. So pick one thing and gain back some time. Then when you have more time, pick another – not just something to save time, but something to invest time that reaps greater results.
What have you done to save time on your trade shows? What have you done that produced the greatest results for the effort? Let us know in the comments box below.
Get your free copy of What’s Working in Exhibiting to learn valuable information on budgeting to promotions to booth staff to design and more. This great collection of useful ideas will power your trade show marketing program to the top.
About the Author: Mike Thimmesch is Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, with 25 years of Marketing and Trade Show Display Marketing experience.