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Hey Valued Customer – Throw This Out For Me

Do you remember the last time you were at a trade show? There were thousands of exhibitors and before you left your home you chose ten companies to talk business with. When you got there the company’s representative was unhelpful, did not ask the right questions (or any), and had a general air of “I don’t want to be here.” You left with unanswered questions and a flyer on the product that the contact had provided to you.

Time and time again I see this happen. There is a better way! Although the comic here is done for humor there is more truth in this than you know. At any event that is not in the hometown of the attendee, more than 74% of the collateral handed out does not leave the city. Don’t get me wrong, collateral is a necessary and powerful tool in the sales cycle but it should be used in the proper way and supported by a trained and powerful show staff.

throwout Here are a few things to think about when it comes to interacting with show attendees.

Never Assume: Each conversation has the opportunity for a financial change in your company’s balance sheet. Depending on your business remember that these two days are most likely the largest gathering of decision makers in your industry.

A Few Tips:

  1. Understand the attendee’s role, and yours!
  2. Qualify early
  3. Develop real world examples that booth staffers can practice before the show opens
  4. Develop real engagement time
  5. How does your product or service fit a need
  6. Identify the unique benefit of your solution
  7. Understand how the attendee makes decisions
  8. Understand how the pre, at-show, and post-show strategy all works together
  9. Confirm the conversation and make sure you can follow up

Research Opportunity: With such a large gathering of like-minded people from all facets of the business (Sales, Engineering, R&D, C-Level and more) know that the conversations that occur at your trade show could lead to many things. Product development revisions, needed support changes after the sale, and much more.

A Few Tips:

  1. Ask prospects what challenges are they having with competitive products
  2. Ask current clients what could be improved on your product or service
  3. Gather feedback
  4. Document the return on knowledge
  5. Share the knowledge with the right departments at HQ
  6. Reward the two or three minutes you spend with a prospect gaining this feedback

Tech Integration: Don’t leave the collateral at home yet. Collateral is an important part of the conversation but the integration of tech tools like tablets, QR Codes, RFID, Near Field Communication, Bluetooth Beacons, large format touch screens, and so much more help to make you more efficient and more connected. Check out this blog post to learn more about NFC, Bluetooth Beacons, and more technology resources. Many of these tools can help empower conversation and engagement.

A Few Tips:

  1. Develop that one-on-one meeting time with limitless data to pull from
  2. Options for screen sharing for larger groups
  3. One touch file sharing with lead development software
  4. Develop the ability to share multiple files in real time
  5. Create ease and speed of content manipulations

So the next time you see “collateral with no conversation,” whichever side of the fence you are on, what will you do?

tech-for-tst-exhibitorswpTech integration is a crucial part to a successful event and engaging attendees. Learn how to advance and enhance your trade show program by requesting the Tech for Trade Show Exhibitors white paper. Click here for your free copy.


About the Author

Jason Kelly is a Trade Show Marketing Consultant with Skyline Exhibits and Design based in South Carolina. With fifteen years of experience building strategy and event tactics for some of the biggest brands in the industry, he is most pleased when he sees his clients succeed.

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