Archive for December, 2007

End of Year Checklist

As we wrap up 2007 this is a good time to look back at what we did right and what we did wrong at our tradeshows and consumer show events.   Through this analysis we can make a plan to generate more leads and make more sales in the months to come.   Take a look at my suggested checklist and comments and let me know if I can help with some ideas that will put more punch in your presentation.

1.  Preparation:  Are you a last minute marketer?  If you want to save money and avoid headaches as an exhibitor you have to plan ahead.  Book your space early so you can get a good corner location.  Prep your exhibit and freshen up your graphics well in advance.  Order services (electricity, decorations, carpet etc)  early to get the discounts.  Ship advance to the warehouse so you know when your exhibit will arrive. This way it will be in your space when you get there or your labor won’t be waiting for hours while your cases are on the dock waiting for a fork lift.

2.  Set some goals:  What do you want to accomplish?  Close sales, get leads, demonstrate a new product, take a survey, court the media?  Make a plan and be sure the booth staff buys in and is accountable for the results. 

3.  Get your Marketing plan in place.  This means decide on your theme and the sales messages.  What is your hook?  What do you need to do at the booth to accomplish the goals you listed?  When you determine that, then coordiate everything around the goal.  The graphics, the collateral, the sales pitch, the give-a-ways must be planned out with the end result in mind.

4.  Train the staff:  You time and money will be totally wasted unless the staff understands what the goals are, has incentives to accomplish them, has consecquenses if they don’t and is trained how to get there.  Bring the team in on the planning. Brainstorm the sales message. Script a succinct, 30 second presentation to get a lead or close a sale.  Prepare a list of the most common customer objections and craft the rebuttals.  Require consistency from the staff and ask them to memorize the presentation.

5.  Follow up:  Exhibit Experts rents displays.  I have been surprised more than once, to find the clients lead box full of leads shipped back in their case to me.  Everyone thought everyone else had them.  Don’t wait more than a few days to call, email or snail mail a follow-up proposal. 

Use these five ideas to start you own list with your team.  I’d love to hear what you have to say.  Be safe out there and have a wonderful holiday.

Susan

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