marketing+sales: Best in Show
Having an exhibit at a convention or trade show is a major opportunity to position your company or association as a real player in your industry. Sure, it costs money, but it can become a major moneymaker for your organization. It's also a big convenience for your members and suppliers.
Here's how to make the most of your investment.
1. Debut new offerings. Use your exhibit to introduce new products and services, and discuss them with your clients and members.
2. Select a theme for your booth. Make it fun to visit. Try something interactive such as golf putting.
3. Meet the press. Your industry publications are always at these meetings, so talk up your organization to them. You might hand out press kits and hold a press conference to announce important new developments.
4. Look good. Color, lights, working models, movement such as a demo video are good draws. Lighting is important. Be sure your booth area is well-lighted and friendly, even if you have to bring and set up the lights yourself.
5. Provide incentive. Offer a little something extra to draw people to your booth. Candy is always a great attraction, or useful giveaways. Avoid junk.
6. Build your contact list. Having people leave a business card to register for a drawing or to receive additional literature or samples is one good way to accomplish this. Devise a method for keeping track of the different categories of contacts, perhaps making notes on the backs of business cards or filing them in different envelopes or pockets. Impress on your booth staff the importance of getting detailed follow-up information without irritating the prospect.
7. Limit handouts. Don't give out large quantities of literature to casual browsers. Instead, take their cards and offer to send material later. (Many conference-goers acquire bags of flyers that get thrown away without being read.)