Trade Show Networking: How to Turn Leads into Sales

You’re planning to attend your first big trade show event, or maybe you’ve been to a few events and are looking to make your efforts more focused and productive. The key is first defining success for the show and then itemizing a plan to make it happen. In other words, you want significant ROI for the investment of your time and money and need a rock-solid strategy to get there. Here are eight best practices for turning trade show leads into actual sales. Identify Your Top Prospective Client Review the attendee lists before the show and do your homework to know which companies, decision makers, and prospective clients will be there. Create a target list and make it your priority to introduce yourself to these contacts. Be Selective in Choosing Networking Events You don’t have to be everywhere to be successful. Be selective and make sure you spend your valuable time and efforts attending the networking events that position you in front of your ideal customers. Incentivize Generate leads by offering incentives for your products or services to trade show customers. Sell the sizzle and generate a sense of urgency to buy from you at the show. Be mindful not to offer anything that might not be easily transitioned to other, non-show clients later, in case you need to extend the promotion elsewhere; incentivize intelligently. Keep Your Ear to the Ground Potential customers who attend a trade show are participating because there is already interest. Basically, they have already expressed interest in what you have to offer and are strategically placed at the top of your sales funnel This is why it’s vital for you to be a diligent listener. You can learn about buying trends, competitors’ offers, and be current on the buzz of the event; listen to what people are saying and utilize those insights to your advantage. Focus on Your Core Solutions, First When communicating with leads or potential customers, make sure you focus your demonstrations and conversations on those details that offer a specific solution to their problems and be sure you’re providing a relevant solution first. Focus on Their ROI, Second How can your service or product provide these customers with a direct ROI? Make sure you follow up the core solutions conversation with the ROI conversation to prove the value your product or service can offer. Make the Most of Your Trade Show Materials -Marketing Literature & Swag: Reward your booth visitors with gifts of swag. Your promotional marketing materials will be their...

5 Ways to Re-Purpose Your Trade Show Booth Materials

It’s an exercise in futility to discard trade show materials time and again. When it comes to the trade show marketing materials, or the booth itself, there are ways to stretch your trade show budget and make every last dollar and moment of your precious time go the extra mile. And while there is the option to rent a trade show display, there is also a huge advantage to purchasing a trade show booth with repurposing in mind. To repurpose your trade show booth materials consider these trade show budget saving strategies. Opt for Flexible Materials While it may seem counter-intuitive initially, a primary reason to invest in purchasing your own trade show booth is to maximize flexibility. If you aren’t renting, and your current booth is not flexible enough to work brilliantly in every likely booth-space configuration out there, an upgrade to the right trade show booth is the most effective investment you can make. Not every trade show floor layout is the same. Select a design that can be transformed to easily fit into large or small spaces, or even grace an awkward-fitting corner. Make sure the construction is both durable and able to be revitalized for different shows. Strategically Brand Your Booth When you choose to brand your booth with your organization’s message or logo, you’re ready for any trade show during any season. If you’re tempted to mark your booth with dates, places, specials, or seasons, stop! Instead, consider putting the customization onto a one-time banner or flag. Transform Your Display with High Impact Touches As with your trade show display, all of your trade show booth marketing materials benefit from avoiding dates, cities, and trade show names. A few pieces are all you need for any given show. Place a sticker or insert on your brochure rack instead of imprinting paper marketing materials with the local specifics, for example. Use Games & Giveaways to Grab Attention When you make that jump from renting to purchasing, consider planning for games that can be transformed into several different types of trade shows. You can also put the games on a screen for maximum booth flexibility. Prizes are optional but can add excitement and can encourage audience participation. If you want to include any trade show giveaways, check your budget and make sure it’s valuable and relevant to your trade show event attendees. Choose Your Promotional Material Wisely As for the booth materials themselves, the same goes for promotional material. Opt for general promotional “swag” to hand...

6 Ways to Generate Leads at a Trade Show with Technology

If you’re a trade show veteran you know how little time you have in front of potential leads. Finding the time to capture a lead’s information isn’t an easy task when so many other things are going on such as networking, managing your sales staff, demonstrating products and services, and ensuring the event runs smoothly for you and your team. One way to cut down time manually collecting leads’ contact information at a trade show is to use cloud technology to your advantage. So if you’re looking to “up” your trade show game, check out our top-rated apps to generate lead contact information. iPrizeWheel: If you are interested in trying trade show giveaways for your lead generation strategy without taking away from the products at your booth, iPrizeWheel may be the solution for you. Using an app eliminates the need to use spinning wheels that take up valuable booth space. CDS Xpress Connect: Badge scanning apps like CDS Xpress Connect allow you to efficiently capture a lead’s information by scanning their badge ID. This app has the capability to rate your leads by having them answer questions to get an insight on the quality of lead and if and when you should follow up. LeadPod: Business solutions like LeadPod give you the opportunity to capture leads beyond the booth. With lead generation apps, exhibitors don’t have to worry about collecting business cards or remembering who was a qualified lead or not. CamCard: If you’re a traditional exhibitor who values the personal connections gained by swapping business cards, CamCard may be the right fit for your business. This app makes it easy to organize and store information by taking pictures of business cards to be stored through cloud technology on your smartphone. CamCard has the capability to add custom notes for each lead for your reference when you are ready to follow up with your leads from the trade show. iCapture: Collecting a lead’s contact information at a trade show has never been easier with iCapture. Using a tablet or a phone your leads can enter in their own information that you and your team can easily access after the show. OnSpotSocial: Engage trade show attendees with a product demo or a game to generate leads for your business. OnSpotSocial allows you to capture contact information after they have demoed the product on a tablet, watched a video of a demonstration explaining your product, played a game, or even opted in for a coupon. Once a lead has entered in their...

Trade Show Pass or Fail? How to Use an ROI Calculator to Measure Success

You’ve just finished a weekend-long trade show. Don’t relax just yet. While the show may be over, now comes the most critical part of the experience. You know investing in trade shows is an important aspect of your business’s success, especially when it comes to trade show lead generation, but you must now evaluate and measure the data to decide if you did, in fact, see a return on your investment. Here’s how to sort the details of the event to understand your overall investment in comparison to your potential revenue, by using an ROI calculator. Know the Cost Take an inventory of costs including booth sponsorship fees, transportation, marketing materials, flights or travel expenses, hotel, giveaways and promotional marketing swag. Every cost you’ve incurred in preparing for the event, participating in the event and returning from the event, should be counted. How many branded pens did you give out? How many snacks did you buy? How much did you tip the Uber driver back to the hotel? Include costs of the trade show display itself and additional costs for market research you conducted prior to the event. Assess Your Sales, Future Leads, and Profits Compile short, mid-, and long-term profit reports resulting from the trade show production. Calculate not only immediate revenue generated from the event but also to project your sales funnel based on new commitments or leads that may convert to sales in the future. Also, reflect on branding efforts made in participating in the event. Increasing awareness of your company can have monetary value concerning new connections, as well as an influx of traffic on social media or subscribers to your company newsletter. These new followers of your brand and possible brand advocates should be nurtured into warm leads, sales, and returning customers over time. Do the Math The goal is to determine how many new clients would you have to land to cover your costs. Do the math. Subtract your marketing expenses from your gross profits and divide the balance by the marketing expenses and place a precise value on the trade show. Example: ($20,000 – $10,000)/$10,000 = 1 (100% ROI) Trade shows and events present a multitude of valuable benefits outside of breaking down the budget with an ROI calculator. How many new people did you meet? Did you learn something new about your industry or your competition? Can you translate the experience into a service advantage for your company? Keep attending new shows and venturing out into new markets. Investing in trade...

Do’s & Don’ts of Social Media Marketing at a Trade Show

When you’re headed to a trade show, you want to share the products you’re taking with you with everyone on your social media contact list, not to mention ensuring that potential leads in the area come out to support your business. In order to more effectively manage your social strategy, it’s a good idea to brainstorm social network ideas before your event. That also means adhering to the rules of social media etiquette. Using the right social media tools will help you gain exposure before the trade show even begins and help you to make a connection with quality leads. Here are our social media tips to guide you through the do’s and don’ts of social media marketing to ensure you make an impression (in the right way)! Do: Know Your Audience: Not only should you know what digital platforms your audience is on, you should tailor your content to fit their needs. Create a Social Media Calendar: Have a plan! You need a social media calendar that maps out what you plan to accomplish for your event and when posts will appear. Scheduling many of those posts in advance will help streamline your experience and free up your time for other tasks. Social media tools like Hootsuite are great for this. Create a Teaser Video: If you’re introducing a new product at the show, create a YouTube video trailer and share it on all your social media platforms to create buzz before the show. Find the Official #Hashtag: Do your research and find out the official trade show hashtag. Connect with people who are engaging with the hashtag and create a post utilizing the hashtag to announce your attendance. Use Giveaways: If you’re brainstorming event marketing ideas, social media marketing can be a great platform to announce your giveaways. You can even make social media the contest for your giveaway. Examples of this can be to have a scavenger hunt on your social platforms to find a certain image or hashtag, or if you join our social network and like the first couple posts you’ll be entered to win. Don’t: Overdo Hashtags: #your #customers #dont #want #to #de #code #this #message. Always use a couple of the most relevant hashtags and leave out the irrelevant tags that can make your post look like spam. Forget to Live-Stream: Connect live from the event to share more information with your followers and encourage them to visit your booth. If you have a product or service you can demonstrate live streaming...

6 Ways to Network After Hours at a Business Conference or Trade Show

Attending a business conference and committing to a trade show booth is a big commitment, and requires a lot of planning and hard work. And while you might be focusing on your strategy to network during the trade show you may be missing out on a huge opportunity to expand your outreach beyond the trade show. Think outside the ‘booth’ and plan creative ways to connect with your leads after the trade show. Connect on Social Media: When done properly, social media can be quite beneficial, especially with pre-show and post-show networking. Follow and use the official hashtag of the event so you can familiarize yourself with attendees and engage with others. This is a great way to soften your approach or to offer incentives and prizes for people to visit your booth. Following up with your leads on LinkedIn after the trade show is a great way to make a lasting business relationship. Plan a Dinner Party: Everyone needs to eat, even the busiest trade show attendee. Reach out to your top leads you connected with before or during the networking event and invite them to dinner. If you are a large company consider renting out a ballroom in the hotel and providing a catered meal. Host Happy Hour: Yes, you can (and should) host a happy hour at your hotel or nearby restaurant. Grabbing drinks with leads you’re trying to win over is a great way to build a lasting relationship beyond a business contract. If the event you’re attending already has a happy hour lined up consider sponsoring a round of drinks. Fill Your Schedule: Attending a business conference or trade show that requires travel is a huge expense. Make the most out of the time you have and attend networking events beyond the main trade show. Book meetings with your leads or current business in your proximity before or after the day of the trade show. Book a Unique Location: If you’ve spent time and money personalizing your trade show display to fit your brand you may not want to pack up and send to storage right after the show is over. Take your trade show display to a unique venue, such as a scenic park or a local zoo and rent out space to host your current and potential customers. Choosing an event space that is out of the ordinary will stand out from the competition during a week full of networking events. Follow Up: Whether you’re brand new to the trade show business...