Just back from the Natural Products Expo West show, where some 3025 exhibitors had their wares on display. Interpretive Exhibits, where I’m the VP of Sales and Marketing, had eight various custom client booths on display, including Bob’s Red Mill, Nancy’s Yogurt, Natracare, Mountain Rose Herbs, Bi-O-Kleen, Hyland’s, gDiapers and Earth Mama Angel Baby.
Here are a few photos of those booths, as well as others and a few Twitterers I ran into:
Tunisha Hubbard is a tour manager and brand spokesperson for various live corporate and ‘guerrilla’ events. We met on Twitter a couple of weeks ago and I asked if she would do a brief podcast interview to discuss how she works tradeshows and other promotional events.
Her website bio describes her as ‘engaging, friendly, and enthusiastic, she loves that her job lets her interact with people, whether it is one person or fifty.’ Her enthusiasm is evidend in the interview as she discusses her various appearances and corporate promotions she’s been involved with.
How do you combine your online social media friends with your other tradeshow marketing efforts? It’s a synergistic effort that crosses many online channels. I sat down and, inviting a few of my little friends, looked to explain how those little friends can help you in those efforts:
With their “Follow Me” app for iPhone and Blackberry, Core-Apps started serving the tradeshow market. What is an app? Even if you know what an app for your iPhone is, how does it work? Who creates them?
Jay Tokosch of Core-Apps discusses the company and their new app targeted squarely at the tradeshow universe.
Here’s a guest post by Kevin Ehlers of Event Technologies of Long Beach, California
In today’s economic climate, increasing tradeshow ROI is as important as ever. While we can get very in depth on how to do this, I’d like to throw out a few quick trade show strategies that can help your company close more deals from your trade show leads.
Trade Show Lead Qualification – Being face to face with prospects is the main benefit of exhibiting at a trade show. The conversations that take place on the show floor determine which leads are good opportunities. The challenge is recording that conversation. Just scanning their badge with an exhibitor lead retrieval system doesn’t cut it. You need to either have to use a trade show scanner with custom qualifiers or use lead retrieval software with custom surveying capabilities.
Lead Rating – Once you have the trade show leads qualified you can use a lead scoring system to rate the leads (hot, warm, or cold – A, B, or C, etc.). There is no need to waste the sales reps’ time with the cold leads, so only send out the good leads. This will keep the reps engaged in your program, save them time, allow them to put more energy into the quality leads and, as a result, increase trade show ROI.
Sales Lead Distribution – With each day that passes, the trade show leads get colder and colder. You ideally want to get the leads to the reps within 2 or 3 days after the show. This gives the reps a week or so to contact all of their leads before they turn cold. Rapid sales lead distribution will increase your sales reps’ success rates.
Trade Show Lead Follow Up – As I just mentioned, the leads get cold quickly after a show. Trade show lead follow up needs to happen while the show (your company) is fresh in the prospect’s mind. Industry studies show that the leads are cold about 2 weeks after the show ends. A good idea is to send out an email immediately after the show to every lead saying “thank you.” This will keep your message fresh in their mind while you go through your lead rating and distribution processes.
I hope this post will help you rethink your trade show strategy. While these tips will take a little of your time to research and implement, they will reap rewards in the form of increased trade show ROI.
Event Technologies provides custom solutions for exhibitors that want to employ technology to improve the means by which they collect, distribute, follow-up and report on the leads that they generate at their tradeshows and events. Kevin Ehlers is the VP of Sales and Marketing and can be contacted at Kevin@event-technologies.com or www.event-technologies.com.
Let’s be up front. I don’t own an iPhone. I don’t have a cell phone with 3G networking (at least I don’t think I do).
And yet I see advertisements every day on TV that hawk the ‘fastest 3G’ networks out there, etc. As if it’s supposed to mean something to me.
Look, I think I’m a typical electronics and IT consumer. I am online for hours a day, both business and home. I spent too much time on Facebook and Twitter. I check into LinkedIn now and then. I cruise my favorite websites, such as CNN.com and ESPN.com daily. I subscribe to way too many e-mail newsletters. So I know the Internet pretty well.
But I get confused and confounded when I see ads from AT&T or Verizon or whoever touting their latest ‘3G’ networks.
I don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
I can make some presumptions, though. Perhaps it’s a new way for cell phones to work faster? No? How about getting online with an iPhone or Blackberry? Am I getting closer?
I think I’m on the right track, but it still doesn’t answer the question: Why are these companies presuming their customer even know what they’re referring to?
Hey, let’s go Googling!
Searching for ‘3G network’ the first listing (under the sponsored links which must have cost thousand of dollars, right?) is a Wikipedia page:
Let me quote a couple of sentences: “International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000), better known as 3G or 3rd Generation, is a family of standards for mobile telecommunications defined by the International Telecommunication Union, which includes GSM EDGE, UMTS, and CDMA2000 as well as DECT and WiMAX. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephone, video calls, and wireless data, all in a mobile environment. Compared to 2G and 2.5G services, 3G allows simultaneous use of speech and data services and higher data rates…” blah-de-blah…
So I’m right. I guess.
I was camping with a friend over the weekend. She delighted in showing me her new iPhone ($99!) and all the things it could do. Her take on 3G? “I think it means Third Generation,” she said, “but Third Generation of what I don’t know.” I guess it just means faster.
To my mind, the phone companies hawking the 3G network capabilities are making a giant leap. Whether it’s a leap of faith or a leap of confusion I’m not sure. No doubt this has been discussed at the highest levels of advertising agencies and the phone companies selling the technology.
But doesn’t it seem like the same thing when we used to see ads comparing the online dial-speeds: “14.4 MBS vs 28.8 MBS vs. 56.6 MBS…” and we just assumed that – even without know what the hell they were referring to – the bigger the number, the better?
Perhaps that’s the answer. The ad agencies and phone companies just keep throwing confusing terminology at us, assuming that we’ll at least grok the essence of what they’re saying: 3G is good! 4G is better! Well, whenever 4G arrives, which it must! Right? As one follows two…
Still, I can’t help but think that they should do a bit of explaining. What is 3G and why is it so cool? Why would you want it? What benefits does it give you? I mean, more than just ‘fast.’
But then again, maybe that’s the only thing that matters. We see “3G: Faster!” And that’s all we need. Gotta have it!
Are you making assumptions with your marketing? Does your audience understand? Or do they just need to know that it’s faster, better, higher, brighter?
It reminds me of the old story about how one ad agency – several decades ago – took an everyday consumer item – beer – and by describing it in great detail to their audience, managed to catapult themselves into holding the lion’s share of the market. But it’s just beer! Right, but when you tell your audience how you do what you do, and what the reason is, and what it means to the end user, you position yourself against the competition.
I don’t see this happening with the positioning for 3G networking. It’s all the same. No specifics.
I don’t know the answer. I’m just asking the question.
However, I’m nearly convinced I should get an iPhone if I can find one for $99. Pretty cool stuff.
UPDATE: I was thumbing through the latest edition of Portland’s Business Journal and ran across an ad for the new ‘4G’ network. Hey, I thought I was just making it up…
First off, what are your objectives for attending a tradeshow if you want maximum results? To network? To spy on the competition? To learn about new products for your store?
Determine your top two or three objectives, and then make an Action Plan. If it entails ‘learning’ you’ll want to figure out which workshops meet your goals. If it’s to learn about competition, go over a list of exhibitors and map a route through the show floor.
If you’re researching a specific company, study their website and search for press releases or news stories relating to them.
Tradeshows and conventions are the ultimate for networking. Clients, prospects, industry experts, consultants and company management will all be there. Looking for a job? A tradeshow is a terrific place to make connections. You get to see the company put on its best and meet some of the shakers and movers.
Attending a tradeshow is a bit like a hunting expedition. You never know what you’ll get in your sights.