Trade Shows Don’t Work

This post originally appeared on Ken Thoreson’s blog and is republished here with permission.

I have heard that phrase and similar comments from people about why they don’t include trade shows in their marketing programs, when in reality the reason many organizations do not gain a payback from their trade show investment is “they” don’t work the trade show.

Last week while working with a client we discussed this topic in great detail and when I reviewed our Trade Show Planning tools from our http://www.acumenmgmt.com/DVDSalesMgmtToolKit Sales Management Tool Kit, they were amazed at what they were not doing in planning and executing at their events.  I speak at many trade shows/conferences, to better understand the audience I normally walk the exhibit hall to listen to conversations and view the exhibits, I have always been amazed when I walk the floor;

Most trade show booths are either confusing or do not clearly show or describe what the company/product/services do or what benefit they provide an attendee. You only have a few seconds as someone walks past your booth to capture their interest or make an impression-does your booth do that? Take the time to look at your booth with fresh eyes or simply ask your sales team to tell you what the booth says…to them.

Most individuals working the booth have never been trained on how to work the booth. There is an art and science to capturing awareness; in most cases several good open ended questions should be created that can be asked as individuals are walking past your booth. Too often I see individuals sitting behind a table or looking embarrassed that they are even in a booth or worse they are reading their phones!

Another sin I see often is that pre-event work has not been performed; no lead goals set, no booth appointments/meetings prearranged and no trade show specials created. This is obvious when there no traffic in the booth.

Just as we see #5 not performed, many times post trade show work is not performed or tracked. No mailings are sent out or every lead is not followed up within 3 days of the event.

One of our recommendations we make is that at the end of each day everyone that worked the booth should meet to discuss each lead, capturing the quality of the lead and any insights they recall about the conversation with the prospect.  This is done as soon as the trade show closes for the day not when everyone gets to the office.

Trade shows can be expensive, exhibit fees, travel expenses, time and marketing costs working a trade show effectively is a must-execution on all phases must be carefully managed and inspected.  If you would like one our Trade Show checklists from our Sales Managers Tool Kit, send me an email, Ken@AcumenMgmt.com

What are you best tips on working a trade show?

Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.

He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2014.

Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: http://www.acumenmgmt.com/Books SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance.  Need more sales management resources? Check out his www.acumenmgmt.com/Store Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project.

Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.acumenmanagement.com

katypurispersonalbranding-com

I moved to this country with my family in 1979 from Iran. We came with two suitcases thinking we’d stay for two weeks. We stayed a lifetime. I went to law school because I wanted to help humanity AND because I felt that if I was a lawyer, then I would fit in and be accepted and respected. I practiced for 15 years as a successful securities lawyer. One day I realized I was wealthy, miserable and no longer helping humanity. I quit my job as a lawyer within a month. As a spiritually-minded business person, I started to listen to the Universe and my intuition. Through a series of miracles, I ended up finding my natural talents and gifts, which are the ability to realize and evolve peoples’ assets very clearly. During the first two years of my “retirement” as a lawyer, I saw an ad in a community college catalog that read, “What do Oprah, Bill Gates & Warren Buffet Have in Common?” The answer was said to be that they were all practicing their natural talents. So I went to the workshop and learned excitedly and incredulously that my natural talent is in personal brand management for others. From this workshop, my horizons opened and I devised a number of programs highlighting others’ talents and abilities, wrapping it in a “personal brand” package. Initially, I had no idea how these gifts would work in coming together; but for the past seven years I have been running a personal brand management company. We work with individuals and companies to unearth their uniqueness, communicate this to their target audience, and then manage all perceptions. The mission of my company: While appreciating the oneness of humanity, my goal is to highlight for others their specific talents and abilities in order to bring greater joy and success to all areas of their lives. This is how I do my part to cultivate a world of love and kindness where I promise through my example that no one is forgotten and everyone is appreciated. Personal brand management is based on defining and understanding your uniqueness, communicating it effectively to your target market and managing the perception of your personal brand. Your personal brand comes first. It is about you and NOT your business logo or marketing materials or PR. YOU must have a personal brand before you: a) can have marketing material and b) are press worthy. An effective personal brand starts with the understanding of who you are as a business owner and an individual. Without this solid foundation of a sense of self, it is not possible to build an effective personal brand that then translates into effective business branding. Throughout my career and life, I have been blessed with an eye for the creative process around building a successful personal brand. I finally stopped and listened to all the people who kept asking me for help in making their personal brand and business a success. Most of these people were lawyers trying to figure out how to stand out as attorneys in society. I was enlightened by the concept of following my natural talent. I wanted to help other businesses have an effective personal brand and thus, increase revenues, productivity, morale and sales. For fifteen years, I worked as an attorney in multiple areas of corporate America. For over eight years I practiced in Washington DC: the Securities & Exchange Commission, lobbying on Capitol Hill, and working in a law firm. I then moved to California working as in-house corporate counsel and then consulting via my own business. I hold undergraduate degrees in Finance, Accounting and Economics and a law degree. My clientele include numerous law firms , corporations, law schools, specialty institutions, retail corporations, CPA firms, engineering firms, financial services firms, dental professionals, medical professionals, as well as many smaller businesses. I am an author and public speaker on personal branding, leadership, marketing and business development. I have been appointed to serve on the ABAs Law Practice Management (LPM) Division Webzine, Nominating Committee and Women Rainmaker Boards. I have contributed numerous articles to the ABA and been a frequent speaker at various ABA conferences. I believe in being active and giving back to our community as part of your personal brand and mainly because it is good Karma! I am on the national board of directors of The Women Of Color In the Law. I also serve on the San Diego board of directors of National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

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