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5 Tips for Trade Show Success

In my previous post Shocking Exhibitor Statistics You Should Know I presented some startling numbers related to how companies approach trade show exhibits.

I’d like to use this post to give you some suggestions on how you can ensure your trade show exhibit program does not become another statistic.

  1. Allocating almost 32% of ones marketing budget for trade shows indicates a substantial commitment to this marketing channel.  Suggestion: make sure you are going to the right shows, attending a show because “all our competitors are there” is not a valid reason.  Instead make sure your target audience is there.
  2. With three quarters of exhibitors having no idea of their objectives for attending a show it’s no wonder many attend the same show year after year with the same message.  Suggestion: draft a trade show brief which outlines your reason for attending, intended messaging, metrics, etc.
  3. Many of your competitors do no pre-event marketing.  Suggestion:  take advantage of any free marketing activities or packages some shows offer.  If they do not offer anything create some targeted messages of your own and promote it to your house list via emails, newsletters or blog posts.  How about a press release?
  4. Most companies do no post-event review of their exhibit program so like #2 above they continue to do the same thing year over year.  Suggestion:  Measure the results achieved at each event vs the goals you set.  How did you do?  Can you do better?  Should you continue to exhibit at this show?
  5. Almost 9 in 10 leads captured at the show are never followed up on.  Suggestion:  prioritize and follow up on ALL leads immediately after returning from the show.  Obviously your competition does not care about them so seize the moment and some revenue while you are at it.

Want to improve your trade show program?  Give me a call and lets see what we can do.


Shocking Exhibitor Statistics You Should Know

Following up on my last post regarding smart convention marketing here are a few interesting trade show and convention marketing statistics for you to chew on.

The average company allocates 31.6% of their total marketing budget for exhibits (a)

76% of exhibitors do not set goals or objectives for their exhibit activities (b)

80% do little to no pre-show marketing (c)

86% of companies do not conduct any post-event review of their expenditures in order to measure performance (d)

87% of leads captured on the show floor are never followed up(e)

Next post:  Actions you can take to address these issues.

a-Tradeshow Week Research
b-Exhibitor Magazine

c-CEIR Research
d-Exhibitor Magazine
e-Exhibit Survey Tradeshow Trend Study


Common Sense Convention Marketing

I spent the last few days at a convention which included a small tabletop display area.  There were about 10-12 vendors using a variety of methods to display their products or services.

One had a 10×10 back drop display of their logo and company name.  A couple others had their product on display  – freezers for grocery stores and convenience stores.  Others had videos running on 30 inch monitors or on laptops.  Some just set up their table, put out some literature and promotional items and returned a few times a day to check on the table, deciding it was not a good use of time to have someone staff the table.

None of the presentations were particularly good, it was a small show and the traffic was very light so this was not a major concern, but I still could not help but think how these presentations could have been better with just a little more thought before hand.

One of the vendors had a very innovative product but their video did not clearly articulate what it did and what the value was to the customer.  It was filled with some buzz words like sustainable and green but beyond that it was devoid of much value.

Their product was one in which a narrated video showing actual equipment in action would have been spot on.  This coupled with features and benefits minus the jargon would have been a home run.  This could have easily been done within a 90-120 second piece.

So what was my take away?  Here are some suggestions I plan to use for my next convention or trade show.  I think you should to.

  1. Use video effectively – show your product in action or if you are service based use video testimonials,corporate overview videos or tips and tricks.
  2. Clearly state features and benefits of your product or service on literature and signage.
  3. Use pictures this gives prospects an immediate frame of reference.
  4. Make sure your booth/table clearly communicates who you are and what you do.  A company name and logo on a sign or backdrop does not tell your prospects what you do or what your value proposition is.
  5. Chat with your booth neighbors, you never know what you might learn.


How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads for Your Biz

LinkedIn Can Help Your Lead Gen EffortsEveryone has heard of LinkedIn and for most I’d bet the first thing which comes to mind is job search. Yes its true many people use this social media channel for job search but did you know it can be a powerful and easy way to generate leads for your business?

With 100 million members representing 200 countries and all seven continents plus executives from all Fortune 500 companies using this platform you will surely find fertile ground as you search for new customers.

How do I find them?

Keyword Searches – Similar to searching with Google or Yahoo you can search the LinkedIn community using specific keywords critical to your business, job title, location, zip code and even company name.  Using advanced search allows you to further refine your criteria specific to industry and groups.  If you upgrade to paid subscription (I don’t recommend it) you can also search on company size, seniority level, years experience and interests.

Track and Trace – Look at who has been viewing your profile.  Do they fit the profile you developed for your prospects?  If so, do some additional research on their company and see how you might be able to position your products or services.

How can they find me?

Set up a Company Page – This can take a bit of time depending upon how involved you want to get but it can give you that little extra push you need to increase your online visibility both inside and outside the LinkedIn world.  Google does index these pages so why not take advantage of that extra SEO juice?  It may be just enough to push you ahead of one of your competitors.  I discussed setting up a company page in an earlier blog post titled 6 (mostly free) Ways to Squeeze the Most Value from Your LinkedIn Company Profile.

Start or join a conversation.

Join a Group – Thousands of groups exist on LinkedIn and the only way to tell if one is a good fit for you is to join it and monitor the conversations for a while; are they quality conversations or mindless blabber and SPAM?  Look for a group with lively consistent discussions. only you know how much is too much or not enough.  Once you find a good group participate frequently and remember to resist the urge to sell, instead contribute ideas and engage your potential customers.

Like other social media platforms this does take a certain amount of time investment.  It’s not something you can do here and there and expect results. Focused and continual effort is the key.

One last caveat you need to consider is that your competitors are probably doing the same things you are.  With little effort they can glean information relative to your market approach, your messaging and even the type of prospect you target just as you can about theirs.  It’s a two-way street and one you should navigate carefully, it’s the price we pay for this transparent “always on” world we live in.


Improve Your Marketing With These Free Tools from Google

Following up on last weeks post regarding free website tools,  here is a great free download courtesy of my friends over at Hubspot,  8 Google Tools to Improve Your Marketing Effiectiveness.

Many people think of Google as a just search engine, when in fact they are quickly emerging as the leader in online marketing tools, cloud computing and now social media.  Speaking of social media, have you signed up for a Google+ account yet?  I have and I’ve been experimenting with it while I wait for the launch of Google+ for business.  So far I like what I see and I can see some great applications for business, especially a local business.