May 11, 2012

Ask The Tradeshow Coach – Increasing Pre-Show Efforts?

Category: Q&A — admin @ 1:47 pm

Dear John:
I am a VP of Marketing for a mid sized company located on Long Island. I read all of your newsletters from beginning to end. Sometimes I think with some of the questions you get asked, that you have a spy in my company. I believe in trade shows, but the advertising person (don’t ask why advertising handles the trade shows) who handles the trade shows treats all of the trade shows as a test bed for a new brochure or kick off of another ad campaign.  When I suggest to her that we should put more effort into the pre-show phase she said that it is too costly, and she can justify the cost of her ad campaigns quicker, than the cost of the trade shows. How can I respond to this kind of logic and not look foolish?
Scott – frustrated VP of Marketing on Long Island.

Dear Scott:
It sound like your company is in the dark ages when it comes to advertising and trade shows. They should be working together to complement each other, not trying the one up-man-ship that you are faced with.  I wonder if this ad person can justify her ad campaign, and show the ROI on her ad campaign. If she is not going to make the investment in the pre-show effort why are you even participating in these trade shows? You are really not an exhibitor, but an attendee with a booth. The Pre-show effort is to tell your clients you are at this trade show, tell you list of prospects that you look forward to them stopping by your booth, and your suspects that you have something to show them that you know that will be of interest to them.  You need to invite people, if you want people at your booth! Over 40% of people surveyed were asked why they didn’t go to this industry trade show, and their response was that no one invited them. It is obvious to me your ad person does not know about trade shows and she is treating them as an expense, not an investment, and your marketing effort is being jeopardized!
To your continued trade show success
John Hill, Trade Show Coach

May 4, 2012

Assign person to Account for the Trade Show Leads

Category: Articles — admin @ 7:20 pm

Your trade show effort is not complete until you have a plan in place for the following up of the leads generated from the trade show. If you are a small company, and like most small company everyone wears at least two hats.  If this is your company, you have to be forceful, demanding, threatening and detailed oriented to make sure that these leads are not lost in the day to day business cycle.

In some small companies the President takes the entire A” or hot leads and gives 1 or 2 leads, depending on the number of hot leads they received, to each member of the management team with the following edict, “Contact this person or persons today, and see what we need to do to get the order. If you, or the prospects, have any questions please contact me, I want a report back on this before noon today”

The President of the company has made these leads a priority. Everyone is accountable. With this type of follow up the President will be able to determine if this trade show was worth while, how much did each lead cost, and how much it will cost to close these orders.

The problem in large companies’s is the bureaucratic game of structure and accountability many times gets in the way of getting business. Everyone is so worried about do what is company correct they loose sight of the fact that in our very competitive world today if someone requests information from a company regardless of their size and if they don’t get what they requested in a timely fashion they will be looking at some other company regardless of how big you are. Major organizations, realizing this have taken departments and made them into a company within a company relying on accountability and profitability as key rather than structure and redundant effort.