July 27, 2012

Ask the Trade Show Coach: Choosing Trade Shows Wisely

Category: Q&A — admin @ 5:50 pm

Dear John:

My problem is how do I learn, or keep track of all of the trade shows for my industry.  I know about the major trade shows, but so does everybody else. I think I could do just as well if I exhibited in some of the 1 and 2 days local and regional trade shows rather than just concentrate on the major trade shows. I find at the larger trade shows you have a lot of “tire kickers” and yes we collect a lot of business cards, but not as many qualified leads considering the size of the trade show and the number of people in attendance. Got any suggestions?

Al, Director of Marketing

Pittsburg, PA

Dear Al:

In order to keep track of the Trade Show for your industry, you have to do the research. If you don’t want to do the research, then hire someone to do it for you. As a Trade Show Coach I do this for many of my clients. They may not go to all of the trade shows that I recommend, but at least they are aware of them.

Many of my clients have come to the same conclusion that many of the major trade shows you get a lot of lookers, but not as many qualified leads.  There is two ways to look at this. If it is a major trade show, you are not the only company inviting your clients, prospects and suspects. Bigger industry trade shows, more exhibitors therefore a lot more invitations going out to people in your industry. You are attending the major trade show for a number of reasons; 1) the most obvious, is to generate qualified leads. 2) To show your clients that you are alive and well, and continuing to grow your business. 3) To see what your competitors are doing, any new products or services etc., 4) and to look for additional strategic partners that will help you to increase your sphere of influence.  Al, a Trade Show is what you make of it, you cannot waste time when you are at a trade show. When traffic gets slow, walk the show and look for exhibiting companies that could possibly use your products or services.  Let me give you a something to think about. If you attend a major 3 day show, say in Las Vegas, the show days and hours are, Tuesday, 10 to 6 Wednesday, 10 to 6, Thursday 10 to 4.  This amounts to 22 hours of Exhibit trade show time.  If the total cost of the show is $25,000.00 (trade shows are between $30,000 and $50,000) this includes Airline tickets, salaries, cost of the show for a 10 foot booth, shipping etc. the cost of one hour of booth time is over $1,136.00.  Now you can see why you need to make the most out of every hour you are at the trade show.

The other part of this question deals with Primary and Secondary shows.  Some of my clients, although they attend the major trade shows, make more of a concerted effort on some of the regional or local trade shows where they have more of a local but smaller  audience. They still do the e-mail blasts, and tell the clients about these shows, they get a smaller number of attendees that get qualified, but this smaller group has, in some cases, have produced more qualified leads that have turned into orders.

To your continued trade show success

John Hill, Trade Show Coach

July 17, 2012

Tips on Tradeshows for your Inventions!

Category: Podcasts — admin @ 2:26 pm

About the interview: Host Brian Fried of Got Invention Radio interviews John Hill- John shares tips, resources and know-how of what to do before, during and after a trade show as a guest or exhibitor.

About Brian Fried:

Brian Fried has always had a passion for coming up with new ideas. He turned his hobby of inventing into an active business. To date, he holds five patented inventions and has an additional five that are patent pending under his company, Think Up Designs. Several of Brian’s inventions have been brought to market through manufacturing, as he has appeared on QVC and also licensing for retail distribution products from kids toys and infant products to kitchen gadgets. Another specialty of his is to create and license brand art properties which targets the teen/tween market. His brands have been placed in several retail chains such as Target, and other well known retailers in the US and Canada.

Since 2006, Brian has been volunteering his time lecturing throughout many Long Island public libraries, various school districts, inventors groups, Small Business Administration and other groups on the subject of inventing. It was through these experiences that Brian began to recognize that there was a great need for solid information and guidance. This was the inspiration for his recently published book, “You and Your Big Ideas” and the proceeds from his book sales are donated to various charities.

In 2007, Brian with support of Suffolk County NY Executive Steve Levy, founded the Inventors and Entrepreneur Club of Suffolk County. For the past 3 years Brian had served on the Board of Directors for the New York Society of Professional Inventors.

In November 2009, Brian started a live weekly radio show for inventors called Got Invention Radio www.gotinvention.com, and has recently partnered up with Inventors Digest to host expert guests and resources for inventors.

Some recent accomplishments include Brian being awarded, Long Island’s 40 under 40 award and he also received a Proclamation from Suffolk County Executive, Steve Levy, for the founding and continued leadership of the Inventors & Enterpreneurs Club of Suffolk County on its 3rd year anniversary.

Just recently, Brian approached Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office to initiate the Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club of Nassau County, which he successfully launched in January 2012 and serves as President of both the Nassau and Suffolk Inventors groups covering the Long Island region.

Brian is from Melville, NY and is 38 years old, married to Lisa and has a 10 year old daughter named Alana who is an inventor as well!

July 11, 2012

Can’t Miss Tips to Prioritize your Trade Show Leads

Category: Articles — admin @ 2:13 pm

Busy BusinessmanReview all of the leads from the show. Prioritize leads, apply triage when necessary. All trade show leads should be reviewed by the management of the company. You want to see the caliber of the people who are going to this trade show, and you want to know the type of attendees that are stopping by your booth. If your leads indicate that only literature collectors came to your booth, and no one with real requirements for your products or services, then you have some major decisions to make especially regarding this trade show.

I look at all trade shows as an opportunity to generate business opportunities. If you make a substantial investment in a trade show you should expect to see a return on your investment.

A major problem is that leads from a trade show are never followed up in a timely fashion. Someone in the exhibiting company should be held accountable for the prompt and efficient follow up of these qualified leads. In a recent study, it was shown that 82% of trade show leads were followed up AFTER the attendee had already made the decision to purchase a product or service.

If you have established time lines for your leads based on your experience then why not treat them as QUALIFIED AND READY TO DO BUSINESS? The time line for following up is dependent on what you have established for example:

“A” leads – to me this qualified prospect has told me that they expect to place an order within 30 days or less.
“B” leads within 30 to 60 days
“C” leads within 60 to 90 days
“D” leads could very well be next year.

You cannot follow up on A leads in 45 days. They must be acted upon in the time as stated on your qualification form otherwise you are just going through the motions.

Trade Show leads are without question the best leads you could have. The people on these leads have been qualified, they were there to find out about your product or service, and they were there to do business. Yet, so many marketers, and sales managers treat these leads like yesterdays news with an attitude of, “Well they came to our booth, they saw what we had, we answered their questions, now if they want something they can contact us” Yeah, right! But that is the way I see it.

Clients, Prospects, and suspects want to be sold! If they have taken the time to visit your booth, have gone through the qualification sequence, they understand that you will be contacting them, then why not finish the job and SELL your product or service?