One of the great benefits of attending an exhibition is the opportunity to network with industry colleagues, suppliers and buyers. Yet, we see people with their eyes cast downward, mesmerized as their fingers fling across a miniature keyboard at lightning speed.
I’ve been conducting training programs for a long time. I recently worked with a client whose focus on staff safety impressed me. Before my workshop began a complete set of instructions for the participants was issued around fire safety, escape routes and the location of portable defibrillators. When companies walk the safety talk they have in effect created a safety culture which every employee lives and breathes.
It has often been said that the secret to exhibit success lies in its focus. All too often exhibitors either try to accomplish too much from their exhibitions or their goals are vague at best. The trick to getting your trade show program off on the right foot is to spend time well before you take any other steps to decide exactly what you want your exhibit to accomplish and how you will measure your results.
We all want to do the right thing. Eliminating the waste in an exhibit program is just one example of changes where we can make a difference. Yet, often company’s shy away because of a misconception that having a green exhibit adds to the overall cost. Your exhibit and all that it entails can have a tremendous impact on the environment. With a little mindfulness you can take measures to ensure that you are doing your part.
The number of leads that are obtained at a trade show that are mishandled is astounding. Whether you are exhibiting to increase business or have a communication need such as brand reinforcement, the contacts you make at trade shows are of value and that value decreases each day they go unanswered.
Perhaps understanding the reasons why this happens will give you a heads-up and ensure that the proper preparation is done ahead of time.
Let’s say you are getting ready to set up your first tradeshow booth or you are trying to figure how to close more sales. Then you may want to find a mentor, because they will be able to guide you in the right direction. Here are a few ways mentors can help you achieve greater success
My kids think I’m a Luddite. I am from the world where the value of face-to-face marketing was one I understood. Now I live in a world where people communicate with their thumbs. However lately I’ve seen that faces and thumbs can live in harmony.
I will admit that thumbs can connect to the world instantly. They can communicate to large numbers of people in real time, albeit at the cost of good grammar and spelling. Faces still have the advantage of being able to stare eyeball to eyeball with a client even if it is only one at a time. So in a world where it is faster and considerably less expensive to connect with a text, can one justify the cost of face-to-face?
There has been much talk lately about exhibitions as a place to engage customers rather than attempting to sell them something. So, if we are to be successful in our exhibiting ventures, it is important to understand the rules of engagement.
The word engage comes from the roots; en – “to cause a person to be in the place, condition or state; and gage – a challenge. Engagement can be defined as a discussion or dialogue between buyers and sellers where both have an opportunity to share challenges and solutions for the purpose of a mutually satisfactory resolution.
With the definition firmly in hand we now are in a stronger position to invoke the tools we need to ensure that the goal of engagement is given its best chance to succeed.
When Murphy’s Law decides to ply its magic to your trade show strategy you need a contingency. It’s called your Plan B Having a back-up in place is always a good idea; so much so that in 2006 movie actor Brad Pitt named his production company Plan B Productions. More recently the infamous morning after birth control pill has been dubbed Plan B.
Do the math. Assume the next trade show you participate in expects a total audience of 10,000 people over a period of 20 hours. The number of people you can expect to walk past your booth each hour on average is 500. Now divide that number by 60 which results in the possibility of having 8 + people walk by every minute. It’s a pretty daunting thought.