September 9, 2011

Opening Active Questions

If you have a 10 foot booth, you have approximately 3 seconds to make an impression on an attendee passing your booth. If your company name does not spark an interest, or your “tag” line does not give the person any hope of finding out what your company does, then     you are the person that is going to make it happen!

Be prepared with a number of great lines that can be used on a myriad of attendees that will be passing your booth.

You have to be aggressive; you have to want to do business you have to be “on”. If you have no intention of taking an aggressive and positive attitude while you are in your booth, why are you there in the first place?

Technical Trade Shows and the people that stand booth duty are frustrating to work with. They usually talk in a language, using, letters, and buzz words that only another person, in the same industry will understand.

What these technical companies have a tendency to forget is that not everyone that works for, or buys technical products or services, knows the technical language. Therefore, companies selling technical products should be able to speak in a language that will be understood by the general public, not get the technical literate. I was once given the task to sell a digital voltmeter to a maitre’d in a restaurant.

If you want to generate business you had best be able to speak the language that will be understand by the person you are trying to sell.

May 20, 2011

How to keep your expensive literature from ending up in the trade show trash bin.

Expensive Literature and Free DinnerExpensive Literature and a Free Dinner

Some years ago I had a client that was determined to spend many dollars on literature to be handed out at the trade show.  No matter what I said he always had a response. “This is old literature, I was going to get rid of it anyway” or “This literature has a lot of information so they will hold on to it”

High Costs

We had done a few trade shows together, and the expense allocated for trade show material was astronomical. When I confronted my client on this, because I had a tough time presenting a realistic ROI (Return on Investment) that made sense. He said, not to worry it was an accounting thing. I also know when things get tight in a company because of a downturn in sales, accounting takes a hard look at everything, and where they can “cut” because of the expense they do.   Having listened to my client talk about his literature – He loved to design, write copy, and show how informative it was, and how the attendees really liked it and no doubt they will be carrying it home to read again and again.

But, they’re so professional! Everyone wants one!

While at my client’s booth at a major trade show at the Javits Center in New York City I really got annoyed, and I confronted my client as he was handing out  these very elaborate 8 page multicolored coated stock brochures that must of cost over $4.00 each. When I saw this I asked him how long he had been handing these out. He said since the start of the trade show, which was at 10:00AM.  It was now a little after noon, and I asked my client how many do you think you have handed out. He was so excited, when I asked him that because he said that everyone wanted them, they were so professional. Again I asked him how many he had given out, and he said, “About 60” Well I said, I have been telling you for over 2 years that it’s a waste of money to spend a lot on literature to be handed out at a trade show because, according to statistics between 82% to 90% of the literature collected at a trade show is thrown away.

The Bet

I said to my client, “I will bet you dinner at the best restaurant of your choosing, that I can collect at least 30 of your brochures right here at the trade show” He said, “I’ll take that bet” With that said, I found two of the workers that empty the garbage cans around the trade show floor. I told them I would give each of them $20 dollars if they could find 30 of these brochures that have been thrown away. Then I told them I would meet them back at the booth in one hour.

50 minutes later both of these workers came back with 45 brochures in their hands, and wanted their money, which I gladly gave them.

That evening I had dinner and a wonderful bottle of very expensive wine at restaurant considered the best seafood restaurant in New York City. My client was still in shock, but not over paying the bill, but seeing how much money he had wasted by not listening to me two years ago when it came to literature.

If you do your trade show literature correctly, it will be inexpensive, it will be focused on this show, and also follow your trade show theme, and it will be something they will hold on too, and use for reference for the whole trade show.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments, I would love to read them!

April 22, 2011

The Do’s and Don’ts of Trade Show Giveaways

Do – Have a Reason for Giveaways

I don’t believe in giveaways, but if you want to use a giveaway, have the attendee do something for it.  To have a table in front of your booth, lined with hundreds of pens, cups or tee shirts and having people come by and take one to me is a waste of money and certainly doesn’t do anything for the company exhibiting.

Don’t – Give it Away to Everyone

You as the exhibiting company have to ask yourself the question, “Did the person come to the booth to learn about my company’s product or service or to pick up one of the giveaways”

Do- Require Participation

If you keep the giveaway on the shelf, (for example a pen) and the attendee prospect enters into discussion, and you qualify that person. At the conclusion of the qualification sequence (which should take less than 5 minutes) gives the person the pen and say,” Thank you for stopping at the XYZ booth and your interest in our products and services. Here is a pen to remember us by” the person has done something, by participating in the qualification sequence, you have accomplished something, and now you personally present the pen to that person. Now it is a big deal, you have made it a big deal, because not everyone that comes to your booth is going to get one of these pens.