All companies that invest in exhibit marketing should have a good understanding of “Why” they are investing, “What” they hope to achieve, “Who” they need to get in front of to accomplish the goal(s) and “How” they need to interact with the target prospects once in a face-to-face environment.
However, too many organizations minimize the detailing of goals and leave the extensive potential value of investments they are already making on the trade show floor. So whether you are quantifying and measuring to establish a formal ROI (Return on Investment), or simply want to enhance awareness of the many values trade shows offer your firm, below are five extra gifts from the world of exhibit and event marketing.
- 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority. Which means more than 4 out of 5 people walking the aisles are potential customers for exhibitors. Source: CEIR: The Spend Decision: Analyzing How Exhibits Fit Into The Overall Marketing Budget
ENGAGE UPPER MANAGEMENT TO ENCOUNTER YOUR CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS
Your Senior Management has opportunities to initially meet or strengthen relationships with contacts for key accounts, whose only tie to your company may be their particular sales representatives. Management (or owners) also have the benefit of witnessing their teams in action as well as spending quality and intense time with their teams in a compact amount of time.
A trade show amortizes the investment in your brand because, it likely has the largest collection of potential customers in one place at one time.
Your company has an investment in its Brand. Unless you’re a start-up, with a goal to be bought out within 1-2 years, the efforts to build and enhance your brand should have started long before consideration of what your exhibit would look like. The brand is everything from your people, the logos on their shirts, the industry’s perception of your company and its products or services. A trade show amortizes the investment in your brand because it likely has the largest collection of potential customers in one place at one time.
"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus."
— Bruce Lee
WITH LASER-LIKE FOCUS GET SOME RESEARCH DONE. YOUR FUTURE BUYERS ARE Assembled at Trade shows
What’s next for your company’s growth? Gather some research. Before you invest in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in product development, utilize the fact that the future buyers of a new product are already assembled at a trade show. Take the time to implement some informal research on their openness to acquiring the future product or their ideas on how you might improve it.
GET TO AMPLIFY YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS. PAY ATTENTION TO THE QUESTIONS THAT PEOPLE ARE ASKING. YOUR KEY TO YOUR NEXT INNOVATION LIES IN THE ANSWER TO THOSE QUESTIONS
There are plenty of training opportunities at trade shows. The training can be on key benefits a manufacturer wants to convey to its distributors, or a professional services corporation that want to reinforce skilled training among a geographically dispersed sales force. Training can be veteran staff working with newer staff in the booth, or can be taking advantage of classes, seminars, breakouts and speakers that are part of most trade shows.
“Never compete with someone who has nothing to lose.”
― Baltasar Gracián
CHECK OUT THE PULSE OF THE PLAYERS IN YOUR INDUSTRY
Your competition is likely exhibiting at the same trade show you are. Check them out! Get close to their products; notice the people they are meeting with. Are your competitors meeting with your customers or prospects, too? I’m not suggesting clandestine or sneaky approaches, but it doesn’t hurt to go shake a hand and meet the competition. One of their better employees may be your next superstar! Read more... How to gain competitive advantage.
Sit with these ideas. Let them germinate. Then, take time to think about the benefits that exhibiting has brought to your company outside of what is listed above. Jot them out. If you want, share them with us. You will be helping others in their journey.
"It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."
— Warren Buffett
About the Author
Steve Hoffman, President of Skyline Exhibits & Design, Inc. has spent almost 30 years in the selling and marketing of marketing products. Following a successful career in the TV Program Syndication business, he joined The Holt Group/Skyline Displays as a Marketing Consultant, then moved into management, ultimately purchasing a portion of that company. He is the author of "The Reality of B.S. (Big Sales...That Is)." Steve is dedicated to helping his South Carolina trade show displays clients achieve their worldwide exhibit marketing goals while improving their efficiencies, too.