Are you headed to a trade show this fall? Tradeshows can be a boom or a bust depending on how you approach them. Here are twelve tips for making the most of your tradeshow experience. Right now, Safeguard is giving away a unique gift to help you brainstorm about giveaways at tradeshows. Be sure to sign up for one today!
1. Never go to an event that you can’t generate more leads than you will need to pay for it… before you get there. We keep every contact and lead from years past and we reach out 6 weeks ahead of a trade show or an event and make appointments before the event even begins. Last year at Dreamforce 2012, we set 1057 appointments before the show even started. We walked home with 1900 qualified leads and 20,000 partially qualified leads. Use social media like crazy. LinkedIn LNKD +0.04% and Twitter are awesome. Chatter is incredible if you are going to a salesforce.com event. But don’t spam. Just get to know people and meet them at your booth.
2. Look sharp… be sharp… And be kind… Be assertive and talk to everyone, and have your entire staff do the same. Don’t sit down. Don’t leave drinks and food around the booth. Be kind. Never be a jerk like many of the old timer sales types I see who still believe that outdated model of disqualifying is as good as qualifying. They almost push you out of the way if they don’t think you are important. In todays age of social media one person’s disgruntled voice can carry far and wide. Go watch “United Breaks Guitars” and learn what happened to the perceived value of United Airlines when one employee treated one person, a musician, poorly. The first YouTube video Dave Carroll made about his experience has 14,538,344 views and counting.
3. Trade leads with every other vendor at the trade show. Why? If you get 1800 business cards, and they do also, now you have 3600. 10% or 20% may overlap. That’s ok. Way more than you got on your own. And many of those vendors can become prospects or great partners. Competition is awesome!
4. Never go to a show that you can’t speak at. Enough said. And sitting on a panel with 4 other people isn’t the same as speaking, but it’s better than nothing. If you can’t speak, make your own event that you can speak at and invite everyone in your database to come hear you speak at the show. Oh, and speak well… Here are a few pointers in an article called Great Presentations: Tips From Great Presenters I review before I speak each time and ask my co-speakers to check out also.
5. When you speak, don’t pitch your stuff. Grow your industry. If your content and research is really good, people will flock to you. If you sell your stuff on stage, they flock away from you. If you help them provide answers to difficult questions, they turn to you to help them in their business. But people hate sitting through a sales pitch masquerading as a seminar… don’t do it. It hurts you. Have faith in your content and value. I get asked all the time in my seminars, “Ken, what is it you guys do? Research? Consult?” Then I tell them, but I take it offline after the seminar is over.
6. Always have your own event(s) going on at the same time. We do what we call a ResponseAudit on every known attendee at the show. About a month ahead of time we do a “secret shopper” on their website by putting in a fictitious lead and tracking how fast they respond (immediacy) and how many attempts they make (persistency.) Then we do a press release with the top 50 responders, give awards and benchmarks, and make people aware of their lead response practices. It’s a great ice breaker. We also do dinners and press conferences in the evenings of big events. We have done these ResponseAudits 16,000 times. We have a research team of 6 constantly doing this to help companies be aware of how well they manage their leads.
Read the full article: The 12 Commandments of Incredibly Successful Tradeshows | Forbes http://bit.ly/2dmsiUt