When it comes to marketing strategy, tradeshows still remain as one of the most profitable business-to-business (B2B) media strategies for companies. It was estimated that the yearly spend in 2014 was close to $70 Billion and on the rise. Many companies approach this opportunity with no strategy and no way to track their return on investment.
Before you start packing your bags and making plans to spend a small fortune, let’s explore a few questions to ask yourself and also put a plan into place.
1- Does it make sense to go, better put, have you done your research to make sure this is a good fit for your industry and end user?
2- Are you sending the right people? I cannot tell you how many times as a Consultant that I walk through tradeshows and see employees sitting on their phones texting or an empty booth with no one there.
3- Do you have the budget and brand to do it right? If you do not have a clear brand and able to deliver on its promise, it would be better to wait.
4- Do you have a marketing strategy? Make sure the venue fits your long-term objectives and goals.
If the above answers are “Yes,” then it is time to put a strategy in place. A good check list for pre-planning, the day of the tradeshow, and post follow-up is essential to making the most of your tradeshow dollars.
• Know the attendee list, do your business development homework and identify current customers and new customers you would like to get in front of.
• Make sure your company has a clear message and brand that can be translated into your booth marketing.
• Every employee that you send needs to know their elevator speech, a powerful consistent 60-second introduction as to what and why you do what you do.
• Marketing material cohesive.
• Some form of tracking on all your marketing material that you are handing out. (landing page, code on all brochures, business cards, software to handle the data, etc.)
• Identify dress code that represents your brand.
• Consider implementing a CRM if you are not currently using one.
Day of Tradeshow:
• Know your neighbors, build relationships, swap capabilities.
• Determine who is working your booth by skillset.
• Have established company rules, no texting behind booth while working, and someone always present.
• Know the schedule of the show.
• Make sure you make notes on business cards for each conversation you have with individuals. There is no way to remember all the details. Follow-up later and add notes into your CRM.
• Have good body language, make yourself approachable, good eye contact, give an open persona where it is easy for people to talk to you.
• Scan name tags for people that you have identified beforehand.
• Send personal email to the top 10 prospects tailored to their need.
• Send generic email to all others. It is most important to follow up with everyone you encountered at the tradeshow.
• Put targeted prospects on the I Speak Business touch system.
• Review the tracking analytics and people who are interacting with your company communications and marketing, post tradeshow.
All in all, if you have done the necessary planning and post follow up there is no reason you should not pick up new business from tradeshows. Social media, online, as well as all the other marketing streams are a part of the overall mix; however, relationships are still the number one way to build long lasting business endeavors. 60% of exhibitors said they value the ability to see lots of prospects and customers at the same time, 51% of exhibitors said they value face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers, 47% said they value the ability to meet with a variety of players face-to-face, and 99% of marketers said they found unique value from trade show exhibits they did not get from other marketing mediums.
If you are tired of misfires and in need of help with your marketing efforts, branding or re-branding your company, business development, sales training, automation, or CRM, contact us today to see how we can take your company from good to great! Targeting Success, triggering results…