The Fall season is a popular time for organizations to hold Annual Conferences, Trade Shows, and large crowd Events. If you have ever participated in these types of events as a business owner or representative of a business, you will want to read on.
This is an important read to market your business and gain exposure to hundreds or thousands of people in a short period of time, all in the same place, and face-to-face. I have been attending conferences with trade shows attached for my entire sales career. They certainly have evolved into a true “show”. Booths are bigger, more high tech, and engaging. They are also way more expensive and involve a lot of time planning, preparing, and attending. With all of this in mind, are you showing up at the Conference/Trade Show totally prepared to make it a success or is it a few days out of the office standing in a booth meeting people?
I attend Conferences and Trade Shows periodically and I even work with my clients when they will be participating in one. I do this because there is a right way and a wrong way to participate. First, the wrong way – Register, get your stuff ordered that you will hand out , ship your booth, show up and stand in the display area for 3-4 days, meet lots of people and collect lots of business cards. Go back to your office when the event is over and spend the next 3-5 days digging out of all the work and emails that piled up while you were gone.
Now, the right way – Identify if it is a worthwhile Conference/Trade Show for you to attend based on the time and expense you will spend. Develop a formal plan around the Conference/Trade Show and start as early as you can prior to the date of the event. Identify a Budget for the event and designate the appropriate number and the right type of representatives that will attend. Once you have your plan in place, begin the marketing of your presence at the event. You want people coming to see you at your booth, not hoping they pass by and you see them. Work the attendee list to get the people you want to see to meet with you. Again, this must be done as soon as you can get your hands on the registration list, if not before. Ask those clients and prospects that you interact with on a daily basis if they will be attending and get them to commit to seeing you at the event.
Once all the planning and marketing of your presence is in place, begin working on an effective message that you will be delivering to those that you meet at your booth. Keep in mind those same people you may encounter will be meeting hundreds if not thousands of other businesses at their booth as well. How are you going to stand out with your message and presence so that your new prospect will hopefully remember you and your conversation when you contact them again after they are back at their business?
After all, in the end, management is going to want a Return on Investment for the thousands of dollars spent on that Conference/ Trade Show. Make sure you have a plan in place that includes the things mentioned, as well as, many other details.
If you are planning on attending a Trade Show in the future, please contact Robert Zinsser @ Get In The Game SE to help make it a success.