Tradeshow Sales Trainer Andy Saks of Spark Presentations spent 30 minutes with me this week to discuss engagement at tradeshows. We called the webinar “Make Yourself Memorable: How to Attract and Qualify Tradeshow Attendees.” Andy is great at showing how important it is (and offers a handful of tips) to properly engage folks at tradeshows so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
This is a guest article by Blair Pettrey of MeetingPlay.
1.) Do One Task at a Time!
You have heard of multitasking, but have you heard of solo-tasking? Instead of trying to accomplish multiple items at once, put your full focus and attention into accomplishing one task at a time. Research shows that solo-tasking can not only result in better task efficiency and results, it can also help you get more done! (Bonus, it can even make you happier!)
2.) Prepare in Advance
Odds are, you have an annual calendar in your office, showing all of your trade shows for the year. But do you have an individual calendar for every single trade show? Having an annual calendar for each of your trade shows – with what exactly needs to be done and by what date, helps keep you on track. An easy (and economical way to do this?
Use Google calendar – set up each trade show to be a specific color- and set up every single task that you need to do for each trade show, by when, with reminders and alerts (which can also be set up in Google calendar!)
3.) Remove the Distractions
We fail to realize how easily distracted we are – until it is too late. Whether it’s the frequent notifications buzzing from your phone, the email notices showing up on your monitor, or the latest news update blaring through your television. Turn off the interruptions and focus on the task (that solo task!) at hand. You will be far more efficient– and accomplish more by being able to give your full attention.
4.) Track Your Time
If you know you only have 30 minutes to type up your next proposal, or only 15 minutes to send out an email to a potential sponsor for your trade show, commit to that amount of time and get the endeavor done. A great “pressure” is to know if your laptop only has 30 minutes of battery left, it is a perfect time to pump out that 30 minute task
5.) Utilize Chrome Extensions
If you know that you are easily distracted with growing vegetables on Farmville, or by browsing your favorite fashionista dog page on Facebook – Google Chrome (and Firefox) have multiple extensions you can install to restrict the amount of time you can spend on pages you pre-define.
Our favorite? StayFocused (for Google Chrome).
6.) Consider Outsourcing
Whether you choose Upwork or Elance or Fiverr there are several websites that have professionals who can do exactly what you are in need of – whether it is producing a video, publishing a blog post, or delivering an automated report – these freelance professionals can do it all. Just make sure you are employing someone whose first language is yours. Even though your primary language may cost a bit more – the peace of mind of knowing someone says (for example) “Trade Show Booth Design” vs. “Trade Show Designs Booths” is worth the price difference, all while still saving you critical time, at a small fraction of the cost of your worth.
By implementing these tips and suggestions trade show professionals can maximize their time, accomplish more tasks, and open up time and opportunity for further success!
Author: Blair Pettrey is the Senior Marketing Manager at MeetingPlay – a mobile event app. With over 10 years of experience in all areas of online marketing, she is committed to ‘paying it forward’ for trade show and event professionals through resourceful marketing tips and content.
Event planning is no easy task, but it’s a vital part of marketers’ jobs. Companies spend about 20 percent of their budgets on marketing for events. Plus, 67 percent of business-to-business marketers find marketing at events as one of the most effective ways to meet future clients and customers. This is your opportunity to shine as a brand at the exact moment customers are most open to new relationships and budget allocation for upcoming initiatives. Don’t let that opportunity slip away by making these easily avoidable mistakes.
Mistake #1 Being Invisible
Blending into the background is never a good idea. The whole point of attending events is to advertise, so standing out is a must. With so many others at your events, get creative to draw some attention to your booth. Don’t just show up with a white tent. Make sure to invest in one that has your logo. You can also consider adding giveaways or games to your booth to make it more interesting. Even a little music can go a long way. Finally, make sure to bring business cards so that it’s easy to swap contact information and follow through on next steps.
Mistake #2 Sending the Wrong People
Your staff represents you and your company so send team members who really know what they’re talking about, and that you would feel comfortable speaking to your best clients. If you send people who can’t speak to your brand or products, your company may appear incompetent and could hurt your image.
Mistake #3 Poor Location
It’s your job to select the perfect spot for your event. Locations depend on the nature of the gathering — you probably wouldn’t choose a small, quiet cafe for a big tech conference. The easiest way to avoid this? Aim for high-traffic areas. Put your booth near anything that could end up with a long line. You can feed off the success of free booze bars, or big swag giveaways, and infiltrate those lines to strike up conversations with everyone.
Mistake #4 Difficult Booth Setup
There’s nothing worse than having to rush through setting up a complicated booth. The simplest solution is to look into easy-up tents. Custom outdoor event tents, or even custom canopy tents for indoors, are a great answer. Not only will this take some stress out of the event, but you’ll have greater visibility with custom printed graphics.
Mistake #5 Ignoring Social Media
Social media has become vital: Eighty-four percent of event organizers promote their events on Facebook, and 61 percent use Twitter. Don’t think that because you’re attending in person, you can bypass social media. Instead, design a custom hashtag and encourage booth visitors to use it. Many events promote their own hashtags that can help advertise your tent and company. Posting photos of your booth/tent and posing for photos with other social media active attendees will give you a deeper reach into the community, so don’t be shy. Be the life of the party online and off.
Mistake #6 Underestimating Costs
Events are expensive, and not allowing wiggle room in your budget is a vital mistake. Maybe there’s an entry fee you didn’t know about, or one of your props breaks and needs replacing. Fact is, you can always have to expect the unexpected so be prepared to spend more than you planned. Plus, with event costs increasing by between 2.5 and 5 percent each year, this year’s booth will likely cost a little more than last year’s.
Mistake #7 Not Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Because 44 percent of attendees use their phones at events, it’s vital to have a mobile-friendly website. That means moving away from tiny font and photos, aiming for data that is visible, and clickable, on a Smartphone. Chances are that your booth visitors will be looking at your website to view your product line, but if your website is not mobile- friendly, you could end up losing out on sales. This is a risk, you do not want to take and must avoid at all cost.
Mistake #8 Leaving the Booth Unattended
You went through all the trouble of signing up, paying for, travelling to, setting up, and planning your day around manning the booth …. Why are you wandering around and abandoning your booth? What if you walked into Starbucks and no one was behind the counter? What if you went into Best Buy and there were no nerds in blue shirts around to help you find the giant TV you probably don’t need? Event booths are useless without you at the help.
Mistake #9 Paying Full Registration Price
Event registrations take up a big chunk of cash. But because nearly 65 percent of event planners believe early-bird discounts are a great way to promote events, by thinking ahead you can find discounted prices, leaving extra room in your budget for an outstanding booth.
Mistake #10 Forget to Follow-Through
Attending the event is only the beginning of a marketer’s work. After meeting potential customers or clients at an event, it is vital to gather their contact information. Business cards are ideal — hand out your own, too. Follow up within a week after the event, so you and your company are still fresh in their minds.
By avoiding these mistakes, your event is sure to go off without a hitch. Taking these steps can help you stand out in a large crowd of other businesses and attract more attention and new clients and customers. Avoiding these common mistakes can do wonders for your company.
Author: Miriam Couturie is the Marketing Manager at Ins’Tent Industries. She is responsible for managing the marketing department along with all tradeshows and exhibitions. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise through educational content and blog posts
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, it’s a crazy idea. Why in the world would the Beatles in their heyday, ever consider exhibiting at tradeshows? They already owned the music world. What could be gained from setting up a booth?
But let’s consider. Say their manager, Brian Epstein, convinced them they should show up at a booth pushing their products in 1965 at NAMM (I have no idea if NAMM actually had a show in 1965).
Brian: All right, boys. I’ve got you booked at NAMM.
Ringo: What’s NAMM?
John: Must be a bird with the gift of gob.
Paul: A Winglish man from the motor trade?
George: I humbly withdraw from this conversation.
RIngo: But George, you’ve only just begun. (aside: Hey, that’s not a bad song title).
George: I must tune my sitar, which will take me until October.
Brian: Boys, boys! The NAMM is a great historical foundation called National Association of Music Merchants, founded in 1901.
John: Righto! Before the history of music began. Except for me grand-father, singing on the canoes of Greenland (that’s where we turned left to find America). O, solo mio… (singing off mic)
Brian: In any case, if we appear we can help promote our albums.
Ringo: But we’re too busy making albums to promote them.
Paul: True, true. Just yesterday you told me you needed me to write 14 songs by Tuesday.
John: We’ve only written thirty-eight, so we have to throw out a couple of dozen to get anything good.
Brian: If you were to attend the show, you could not only play all of the latest and greatest musical gear –
Brian: – you could have a jam session with some of the best musicians in the world. They all attend NAMM.
Silence. They all look around. No one says a thing.
Finally, John breaks the silence.
John: You seem to have unnerved us, Brian. Perhaps we can groan a bit at your suggestion and in your direction.
(all groan:) Oh, oh, oh, oh….
Brian: But if you have your own tradeshow booth, imagine what it might look like.
Paul: Lots of colors: black white green red pink brown yellow orange and blue…
Ringo: Let’s put a submarine in it!
John: Cap’n, cap’n!
George: Or we could hand out samples of truffles.
Paul: I’m hungry.
John: I want you.
Ringo: That’s so heavy.
Brian: So, it’s settled. A submarine with truffle samples, with all the colors of the rainbow.
John: That is heavy.
Brian: I’ll call the accountant and have the agency book our tickets.