Trade Show and Meeting Tips
How to Become a "Rock Star" at a Trade Show
EAS LeadGen has developed best practices for attending a trade show and optimizing prospects.
You have your space rented. Hotel and airline reservations are made. Brochures and the giveaways are ready to go. You and other members of your sales team are ready for the trade show. What else do you have planned to get the most out of the show? EAS LeadGen has developed some best practices for attending trade shows and seminars where you can connect with your clients and prospects. LeadGen has worked with many of its clients to develop a fool proof plan that ensures them the greatest impact at their show.
Each plan is unique to our customer, show, prospects and location. Working in conjunction with our clients’ sales and marketing teams we have created events that ensure optimal impact. A show is a show – and it is hard to develop a relationship with prospects in the few minutes that you have with them at the actual event. By creating an event that coincides with the show, our clients are able to develop a deeper relationship with all of their prospects. LeadGen uses “outside of the box” creativity to create an event “within an event” to better magnetize prospects.
LeadGen doesn’t just set appointments; we create opportunities for our clients. Having your prospects in one place, such as a trade show, saves you from travel by meeting with them all at the show. Here is a sample of what LeadGen has done for clients:
Event Within an “Event” Planning - Planned and created an affiliational marquis client branded activity in conjunction with (or prior to) the actual trade show.
Infused Event Attendance - Drove attendance to the events by using appointment setting techniques.
Prospect Information - Researched attendees – so clients would have an actionable “get smart” information about the attendees that were on their “must meet” list.
Presence at the Event - Personally oversaw the events and handled details so clients could do the networking without worrying about event logistics.
Sales Support - Provided “on the ground” outsourced sales professionals for the events. The sales professionals acted as an extension of clients’ sales teams and made introductions and helped manage follow up after each show.
Branding - The events and calls were a branding opportunity. Our clients knew how they wanted to be perceived and we helped set the tone with the prospects.
Follow-up Calls - Conducted follow-up calls for appointment setting purposes post event.
Besides the areas listed above, LeadGen also assisted clients in crafting the email invite, choosing the best giveaways to attract the most attention, and organized post event meetings to share contact information and to regroup to discuss lessons learned and strategies for upcoming shows.
The results have been substantial. Our client’s always have lines of people at the shows waiting to talk to them, while their competitors often stand there and watch. Our clients look like rock stars!
Each of our clients has a different scenario, but we are always able to develop a plan that works best for them. Our goal is branding for our clients and time optimization while they are at a show so that they can create the greatest impact with prospects.
5 Great Ways to Get Trade Show Residuals
Prospecting doesn’t end at a trade show. Find out how to get the most out of your most recent trade show.
You attend a trade show and you walk away with thirty “hot” leads. But what about the other prospects that were at the show? Did you not have enough time to develop a relationship with them? Do you have enough time after the show to follow-up with them AND the “hot” ones? The show itself is not the end-all. There is life to the prospects beyond the show – and to receive trade show residuals you will need to develop a plan. Here are five helpful ways to gain prospects post-show:
Celebrate – Dare to be different and send a greeting card email for a holiday – such as Flag Day or Earth Day through a service such as Constant Contact. Other vendors may be filling the mailbox of a prospect on Halloween and Valentine’s Day, so look for off-beat holidays and have personalized emails sent during this time.
Winning! – The word may be overused – but everyone likes to win. Which prospects came by your booth that you didn’t have a chance to talk to but upon further inspection of their business card, via LinkedIn, you derive that they are a person that you would really like to meet or pitch? Call and let them know they the won a drawing from the trade show. The drawing could be for a nominal gift card to Starbucks, iTunes, Visa card… The point is – it will be hard for them to blow off a conversation with you since you are calling to announce that they won a trade show prize. This doesn’t have to be done for every prospect – but the ones that you really want to meet!
Pass Off – You walk away with your “hot” prospects from the show, but what about the other prospects that were at the show? While you are following up with the “hot” ones – this is the perfect time to pass off the other prospects to a professional appointment setting firm. By outsourcing your appointment setting and follow-ups, you avoid having too much lag time in the follow-up process since you are focused on the other “hot” prospects that you believe you can convert in the short term. It is better to get calls into these “colder” prospects while you and the show are fresh in their minds.
Resource – Become a resource for your prospect. When you speak to them at the show – if you could find out just one piece of information that would be of interest to them during your 30-second conversation and jot in on the back of their business card. Such as: competitor, problem, new market… Set up a Google Alert to notify you when new information appears on the web about that specific topic. Send an email over to the prospect saying “I was thinking of you when I saw this article”. It is a great “automated” way to stay in contact.
Expand – Add the prospects to your database. Categorize them by industry/interest. Every time you have an article, newsletter, webinar, seminar… that pertains to the same industry, send them an email.
It is important not to just focus on the “hot” prospects but to take into account all the prospects that are at the show. To receive residual prospects from the show, it is important to devise a plan before attending a show. Which suggestion or combination are you going to activate in order to convert a “cold: trade show prospect into a “hot” one?
How Can Appointment Setting Lead to Trade Show Success?
Whether you are walking a trade show or you are working a booth you come across lots of contacts. How do you differentiate the contacts from the prospects? Are they just coming to your booth because you have an outstanding giveaway or are they coming because of what you have to offer? How many deals are closed at the show and do you leave the show with a list of contacts that you need to call to schedule a meeting?
EAS LeadGen works with companies to ensure that they have appointments with prospects while they are at the trade show. We schedule face-to-face meetings for our clients and the prospects while they are both at the same show. Our clients solidify relationships with prospects before leaving the show. Having an established appointment gives clients/prospects more one-on-one time that cannot happen at a booth.
Here are the steps to creating a trade show meeting:
Contact EAS LeadGen a month before the trade show
Get attendee list from the organization hosting the show
Provide LeadGen with the attendee list or a list of prospects that will be attending the show
Block time each day of the show for half-hour meetings (meetings can be for coffee before the show)
If you are looking for trade show success – look to pre-event appointment setting. Walk away from the show with more than just an initial contact – walk away with a customer.