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.