Why our trade show strategy is needed
Have you ever seen a stand builder company, or even a simple banner company with a single testimonial that shows how much they increased lead generation by? The answer to that is a big fat NO, no one ever has and no one ever will. I am not saying don’t use them- I am saying they are not a strategy in and of themselves to get more leads, Yet companies believe that having a fancy or big stand is all that is required to generate leads. but according to the Center of exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) an organizations who’s entire reason for being is to study the exhibition industry– having a big stand accounts for 2%, Yes only 2% of the reason why people stop at your booth.
It’s like having a fancy website- It might look fantastic and function perfectly but if it can’t be found via search engines – all the money spent on a website is wasted- it takes up space doing nothing. A website needs SEO Search Engine Optimization to attract targeted visitors, Your trade show booth needs…
Traffic Stopping Optimization
I made up “traffic stopping optimization” but that’s what your booth needs. It needs a strategy that will continually attract large crowds of attendee’s and hold them at your booth, it then needs to communicate your message to the masses and a system to find out who the real customers are in each crowd- this allows your sales team to approach and generate the leads. YES a smaller booth can attract more customers than a larger booth with the right trade show strategy.
It’s a simple trade show strategy: The 3 C’s
CREATE :: COMMUNICATE :: CAPTURE
Create the crowd :: Communicate the message :: Capture the leads
Passive vs Proactive
It takes 3 seconds to walk past a common tradeshow booth, in that time customers are looking at your booth, the one opposite you, they might be on their phone or trying to not give any eye contact because they are sick of sales staff trying to hound them, and your signage has 3 seconds to not only get their attention but to communicate enough of your message to get them to stop.
Instead of standing and waiting for customer to get attracted to your signage which is passive- a Proactive approach is going to magnetize customers to your booth in crowds, long enough for the Infotainer to communicate the message and ask some qualifying questions
The Trade Show Strategy
Create the Crowd
This is actually easy, you see an Infotainer is Information Entertainer an Entertainer who can incorporate a sales message into his show, I use a compelling synthesis of Magic, Mind reading, sales persuasion and revival-show fury to build huge crowds around your booth, I work on ground level to start with but get up on a stage (provided by me) when the crowd gets bigger. As a Specialist in trade shows I know how to build a crowd not just do a show, but really work the crowd getting them even to shout out your company name as I block off the passage way so no one can get past. This entertainment serves 5 purposes:
- To get people to stop
- To wake people out of apathy
- To put the customer into “listening mode” where I can say things and get them to actually retain the message
- Build rapport and break the ice.
- Create a spectacle around your booth
I am the first magician in the world to win the Merlin Award for trade show magic. In fact it was my talents that made the International Magicians Society introduce the new category. The Merlin Award is to the Magician what the Oscars are to Actors. Given out by the International Magician Society in New York. It is the biggest award you can win in the World of magic.
You may be asking am I any good as a magician?
I am the first magician in the world to win the Merlin Award for trade show magic. In fact it was my talents that made the International Magicians Society introduce the new category.
The Merlin Award is to the Magician what the Oscars are to Actors. Given out by the International Magician Society in New York. It is the biggest award you can win in the World of magic.
Communicate the Message
This phase takes preparation by me, I have to create a presentation based on your products solution and understand your customers problems- so before the trade show begins in the up coming weeks and sometimes months I start learning about your products,Yes I will look over your website and digital brochures but more effective is for us to talk on the phone, plus over 17 years of doing trade shows I have developed a simply 12 question questionnaire that cuts through all the marketing speak and techno babble and cut to the real message.
I incorporate your message into the show, so people learn as they get entertained.
Avoiding Information overload
One of the biggest mistakes on the trade show floor are presenters conveying too much information. I have seen 10 minute presentations with 25 different points that the customer has to remember and to put it simply- they don’t remember any of it, with so much going on at the trade show- (other booths and seminars) your attendees can remember 3 things, so the presentation deals with the top 3 things you want your customers to know presented in an easy to understand and entertaining presentation. If customers want more information, this is when we move them into the booth to talk business with your sales team. (Your sales team will then qualify the attendee a bit more and can generate the lead)
Capture the leads
This is the final phase of the trade show strategy- we have stopped crowds of people and communicated your message- now it is time to capture the leads. I do this multiple ways depending on the out comes you want to achieve listed below:
- A database to market to:
- Rock solid ready to buy now leads
- Start the business relationship (so they buy later)
- A combination of the above
It all depends on the product. Some products for example in the IT industry have a lengthy sales process- no one buys right now- some new IT services are slowly implemented over the next year, where as some industries people buy right now.
Lets break down what I do depending on what your goals are:
A database to market to:
Some industries require constant updates to their customer database- the Events Industry for example has a high turnover of staff so hotels and function services continually need to “re-do”their database to keep it up to date. Another example are recruitment agencies who exhibit at a show to get as many attendees contact details as possible because the attendees are their products that they sell to other companies, With databases you want to scan potential customers for their contact details – You can:
- For smaller crowds (up to 20-30) Walk through the crowd scanning as I do my presentations- this is easy I’ll introduce the person scanning and they can scan. As a result of the rapport I have with the attendees they allow a scan.
- For larger crowds We have a call to action at the end of the presentation- “win this XYZ Prize” and people in many cases line up to enter (Yes they line up)
Please understand that as a result of me building rapport with the attendees- they do as I ask- so when I say lineup- they line up and wait – you really have to see it to believe it
Rock Solid Ready to buy now leads
For me this is what trade shows are all about, this is where the sales team really get involved and need to find out more information than simple contact details- they need to fill out lead generation forms– this is achieved via qualifying the crowd during the presentation by asking qualifying questions and getting customers to raise their hand- your sales team will easily see who raised their hand. It is also a good idea to have a promotion especially if you have limited sales staff, during the presentation I ask qualifying questions and announce we have a trade show special, prize or limited offer and all those who are qualified are to come into the booth to claim the “whatever the promo is”. this does help if you have limited staff numbers – if 15 people put their hand up and you only have 2 sales staff you need a reason for the customer to stick around.
Staff Training: Your staff are going to have many more customers in the booth than they have before- so training in how to qualify quickly is essential. 1 question and your sales staff will know if they attendee is a customer worth talking to or someone to move out of the booth- This is something I will teach you.
I’ll also fine tune your lead generation forms to make them as fast as possible to fill out (this is done in the learning phase before the show begins). Don’t worry- it’s not rocket science it’s learning how to cut to the chase quickly and nicely and if they are not customers how to get rid of them in a nice helpful way.
Start the business relationship (so they buy later)
This is similar to the rock solid leads above, only they are not ready to buy right now (although some attendees will be) The objective is to start the relationship for a potential sale down the track- this can cause sales staff to not take lead generation as seriously so we still need to train them on how to qualify the customers quickly and record the leads plus personal info plus incorporate your existing client relationship strategy so it all works in together.
A combination of the above
This is the norm- a bit of everything- we need to change the strategy a little bit because what we don’t want is non customers taking up space in the booth or getting in the way of your staff approaching those who have been qualified- it takes a bit of booth management for this to work smoothly.
Depending on the size of your booth we want to direct the general attendees to one area of your booth which frees up the rest of your booth for ready to buy now customers. You would use a Junior staff member to scan badges while senior sales staff handle the ready to buy leads.
The actual management of this changes depending on the size of the booth and the location and what else you have in the booth.- We can help you design a booth that will help with the strategy. In many cases companies design their booth first without considering the strategy. Don’t make that mistake!
And remember this, entire strategy takes 15 minutes
and is presented twice an hour
15 minutes of crowd building presentations and then 15 minutes
to record the leads then repeat throughout the day.
What do the sales team do during a presentation?
When the show is being presented your sale steam are either standing watching looking out for people being qualified or dealing with any customers who come into the booth during the presentation.
– People do come into the booth while presentations are on Sometimes they have seen a show previously and had to rush off for a seminar or meeting and other times they have responded to any pre show promotions you have done.
The Presentations don’t take away from your pre show promotions- they add to it without interfering with it
Find out how this strategy has worked for other companies