• Keys to Achieving Trade Show Benefits

     
    POSTED September 8, 2014
     

Q: I’m planning a trade show. How can I best partner with exhibitors to ensure we’re both successful?
A: First, understand that the person who completed the trade show agreement is not likely the person who will set up the display or staff the booth.

Identify and communicate with key players early to ensure they’re leveraging activation opportunities before, during and after the show. Following is an exhibitor success guide to serve your organization’s needs.

BEFORE THE SHOW
1. Set goals. Establish realistic, measurable goals (e.g., number of booth visitors, meetings scheduled or qualified leads obtained).
2. Train. Ensure new exhibit personnel know what to expect on the show floor.
3. Promote. Leverage print/online advertising, as well as your company’s website/blog and email signatures. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
4. Reach out. Contact expo/trade show attendees, current/past customers, prospects and VIP clients.

DURING THE SHOW
1. Be dynamic. Ensure booth staffing aligns with your goals, and staff your booth with approachable, friendly people. Put away distracting devices such as cell phones.
2. Stand up. Rarely do people have much success sitting down while prospects walk by.
3. Engage. Quickly engage and qualify prospects that stop by your booth.
4. Look good. Ensure your exhibit space is comfortable and pleasing to the eye.
5. Promote. Use techniques that attract attendees to your exhibit space (e.g., product- or solution-related demonstrations). Disseminate an informational card or purchase a promotional item that references your website.
6. Nosh. Serve approved food and beverages to drive additional traffic to your booth.
7. Play games. Consider hosting an interactive game at your booth to promote fun and intrigue.
8. Host drawings. Raffle a prize to those who share their contact information with you.
9. Meet one-on-one. Host individual appointments with attendees in your booth or someplace quiet near the exhibit hall.
10. State your message, then strategize. Succinctly inform attendees what you do and how you can help them. Instead of delivering a sales pitch, have a conversation with attendees about their current challenges.

AFTER THE SHOW
1. Follow up. Deliver personal emails within 24 hours. Consider inviting prospects to coffee or sending them a postcard with a special tradeshow discount.
2. Re-evaluate. Determine what worked and what didn’t. Use this opportunity to begin planning for the next show.
3. Activate. Exhibiting once a year does little to build trust and loyalty. Identify additional opportunities to sponsor, exhibit or advertise.

 

HAVE A MEETINGS DILEMMA YOU NEED HELP SOLVING?
Email your questions to Coach Aaron at aaron@eventgarde.com; please write “Meetings Mag” in the subject line.

Aaron Wolowiec is founder and president of Event Garde, a Grand Rapids-based professional development consulting firm. Event Garde works with association leaders who want to deliver dynamic, meaningful and compelling education and networking experiences.

Denver-based Dazbog Coffee has delivered a taste of Russia and Colorado through its eye-catching packaging, branding, small-batch roasting and blending of hand-selected coffee from around the globe. Leonid and Anatoly Yuffa immigrated to The Mile High City from St. Petersburg, Russia with their family in 1979 and later combined their skill sets and business savvy to launch Dazbog Coffee in 1996. Today, the company has more than 30 coffee shops across Colorado and Wyoming and a product line with names like KGBlend and White Nights Espresso.

 

There is no denying the stunning daytime scenery of Colorado, but the state’s amazing celestial landscape after normal meeting hours provides all sorts of great options for groups.

Twice each month from May through September, groups meeting in Leadville or nearby can enjoy a stagecoach ride beneath a full moon with Halfmoon Packing & Outfitting. Based on the 19th-century tradition of mail delivery by stagecoach, moonlight rides are offered on the eve and night of the full moon.

 

Recently, I wrote about examples of two lodging properties’ impactful ways to give back. Colorado’s meeting and event industry associations also are champions of good causes, including the National Association of Catering and Events - Greater Denver Chapter’s first-ever Bunks to Backpacks on Aug. 8 at Four Mile Historic Park from 4 – 9 p.m.