A lot of us wind up with a marketing table opportunity or a full blown conference trade show presence, as I have here in Phoenix. It got me thinking about all of the poor trade show booths I’ve been involved in and how money and time was invested but we missed the mark in some way. Whether you’re setting up an 8 foot table or an expansive booth – most of the basics are the same:
Know your audience in advance. Exhibit based on how you can help those in attendance.
Use quality materials and invest in good branding – make it easy for people to be attracted toward you.
Have a follow up plan – capture business cards or email addresses in exchange for something valuable to the attendee – an e-book, book, or report on something timely – and then promise not to begin a marketing campaign with the newly found email address. You want multiple touches to a “probable prospect” however you do not want to just grab names to build your list with.
Give things away – get people talking……. The “go big or go home” theory – really works
Do your follow up! Relationships take time – start cultivating at an event like this and then follow through once you are back at your office. It will amaze people if you follow up in an interesting way that is focused on THEM, not you.
Example: “We met at the ___ conference. How did you like it? What was your biggest takeaway from it?
Not: “We met at the ___ conference. I sell the XYZ widgets – and wanted to follow up about your interest.”
See the difference? You may be just as intent on selling to this “probable prospect” – but until you really connect with them and learn what it is that they need, you are wasting your time, and being that salesperson (or small biz owner) that everyone talks about – self focused and assumptive.
Here are some more Do’s and Don’ts for Tradeshows