Hello and Happy Hump Day!
On this Wednesday, we’re unveiling a special new feature for our blog: What’s up Wednesday – a forum for exhibitors, speakers and other FABTECH community members to author guest blogs.
This week, FlexArm, a FABTECH exhibitor, shares 5 steps to trade show success. Straight off of their exhibit at the FABTECH Canada show, FlexArm says, “We wanted to encourage exhibitors to use their time at trade shows effectively because we believe in FABTECH!”
5 Steps to Trade Show Success
Does your company exhibit at trade shows? Do you return with a few decent leads? Do you wonder if the money invested is worth it? Are you looking for trade show success?
How much planning, preparation and participation goes into your trade show event?
Planning – Are you picking shows well in advance and locking in booth locations? Sure you are!
Preparation – Are you spending vast amounts of resources to get ready for each event? Sure you are!
Participation – Do show attendees want to stop at your booth? Do they engage with you and your product and find solutions they need? Hmmm…
If all these questions are making you wonder if there is more that could be done to get better results from participation…You’re probably right.
If you’re in a trade show booth for 7 hours and get two decent leads an hour you’ll end your day with 14 leads. Not shabby. It’s better than 4. Or 1.
If you’re in a trade show booth for 7 hours and get 6 good leads an hour, you’ll walk away with 42 leads. If you work a little harder… maybe 50 – or more. If it takes an average of 10 leads to generate a sale, the first example will net 1 sale, which would pay for a percentage of the show cost. The second example would net 4 sales. Not too bad.
What’s the difference between 4 – 14 – 40+ leads in a trade show day? In sales, it means volume(s). When your company spends thousands of dollars to be at a trade show, more sales means payback and growth. It means the difference between paying for the show and payback beyond the show. What if you have enough leads to generate more than enough sales to be profitable?
Trade show results = trade show success!
Trade show success takes participation. It’s not a spectator sport or a place to catch up on reading. The key to trade show success is creating interest and generating excitement for your brand. So if you have the planning and preparation steps nailed down, it’s time to focus on trade show success and results.
Let’s look at 5 steps to trade show success based on the one key word: participation.
1. Find interested prospects to be at the show
Create participation by inviting good leads months in advance. Contact the show organizers, get some free tickets for the show, and email leads in the geographic area offering FREE tickets for the asking. A month later, call each lead. If they plan to attend the show, offer to send tickets to them. Contact customers in the show area to see if you can visit them a day or two before the show.
2. Formulate your plan of action
How will you engage people to stop, look and listen? What ways can you pull people off the path and into your realm? What show specials can you offer? How many and what kinds of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) presentations can you have ready to create energy and move visitors to stop and become involved with you? How will you keep you booth busy, inviting, and literally shouting:
> STOP – we have something you want to see!
> STOP – we’re ready to listen to YOU and your needs!
> STOP – we have solutions you will benefit from!
> STOP – this is a value-added use of your time!
> STOP – you will be GLAD YOU DID….
3. Fetch interest
GO GET ‘EM!! Show hours are not sit-down hours. This is the time for a real workout, from head to toe. This is A-game time. This is when you are non-stop in generating interest and excitement. Ask people to stop. Ask questions – questions – questions to discover the needs. Never forget: the person asking the questions is in control. Mirror your prospect. They smile – you smile. Take great notes on each lead to show YOU CARE about them!
How many leads is this booth generating?
Not as many as this one!
After the show ends, many companies do a brief attempt to contact leads they’ve scanned and talked with. Then those names are filed for… later. MAYBE ONE WILL BUY SOMETHING!!! Nudge the process by contacting your leads right away while the memories are fresh.
- Mail literature – old school, but… How do you feel when you receive something in the mail for YOU, especially if it has a hand-written thank-you note on it?
- Email each lead to let them know you appreciate their interest. Don’t use a “canned” bulk message – personalize it with their first name and show them you care!
- Phone each lead soon afterward to ask if they received the literature and see how you can help them.
Follow-up shows you care. You care about what you do with your time, you appreciate their time, and details matter and make a difference. YOU are there to serve. YOU are there to help. YOU are engaged with what you do and how you do it, and YOU want to provide the solutions your prospect needs. Participation matters when it comes to service – and you are a player. A team-player – and you want then on YOUR team of winning solutions.
5. Funnel qualified leads from prospect to hot prospect to customer.
Take time to work with your prospect. Ask questions! Funnel their interest from the show to your solution by listening to them and showing you understand how your solution not only fits their need, it provides the best solution for their problem.
Participation means looking for leads, generating excitement, working with the prospect, and staying with them to build a relationship and create a partnership. Trade show success = trade show results.
Looking for quality solutions and results for your production team? Contact us to see what shows are on our schedule and let us know more about your application. We’d enjoy sharing our ergonomic solutions with you! We’d also enjoy reading your thoughts about how you make trade shows a successful part of your own customer service strategy!
So that’s what’s up this Wednesday!
If you’d like to participate by sharing your own FABTECH experience and/or offering a preview of your exhibit or presentation planned for this year’s show, just contact FABTECH at email@example.com to tell us what’s up!