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Keys to Trade Show Follow Through

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Guest blog by Susan Canonico, CEO of ADM Two.
The show is over. Everything is in storage, ready for the next event, and you’re back at the office. Now, it’s time to get your return on investment. You’ll need a good trade show follow through plan. Start with organizing all of the contacts and personal information, or notes taken during the show. These may have already been entered into your CRM. If you don’t have a database, then use a spreadsheet. Either way, it’s time to get in touch with these folks.

Here are eight steps to follow through with all of your contacts and leads.

  • Bring everyone together: Each team member has information, too. It’s time to pool together their information. This is where you can assign order of importance for each lead. Timing is important, so don’t let those hot leads cool off.
  • Divvy up the work: A team meeting will get everyone on the same page and make the load manageable.
  • Practice your pitch: The sales pitch after a show should be easy to remember, quickly delivered and friendly. It also needs to be passed on and rehearsed.
  • Continue the conversation: Give them a call and try to reconnect, using the personal and professional notes from the show.
  • Connect on social media: Connections with show attendees grows your market reach and provides new-quality leads.
  • Marketing activities: One way to grab attention is to send e-newsletters with interesting content. This may include statistics on the trade show, who was in attendance, and anything that happened while there. You can sneak in a product announcement in there, as well.
  • Be respectful. There are ways to make negative impressions, such as being pushy and rude. Stay positive and maintain a respectful approach to garnering attention. Be respectful and be persistent, not aggressive.
  • Debriefing meeting: Sharing the success, shortcomings, and failures is a great way to improve for the next show. The only way to do this is to be honest and mission focused, leaving personal issues aside for the sake of the bigger picture.

One of the goals for every show is making it a positive experience for visitors to your booth, as well as your employees working there. Maybe it’s time to try something new, like technology and interactivity, to add to your experience. Some of the things on your list after your trade show follow through may take several months, such as additions to the booth or redesign. Plan your next show well in advance and you’ll be able to capitalize on the things you learned.

ADM Two staff are experts on display design and fabrication, so give us a call at (813) 887-1960 and one of our knowledgeable staff can assist you with your display, no matter where your event takes place. Also, check out some of our other articles to get more information on trade show booth layouttrade show graphics, and etiquette.

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Trade Shows: To Participate or Not … that’s the Last Question

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At some point, you may hear of a trade show for your industry and entertain the notion of attending. The immediate question is whether such an excursion would be a worthwhile investment of time, effort and money.  Reaching that determination will require carefully considered answers to several other questions, first.

Begin by asking yourself what do you want to accomplish? There are a number of excellent reasons why business owners and managers attend trade shows. These include:

  • Learning about new trends, products or services within your industry
  • Networking with vendors or noncompeting businesspeople with whom you can establish mutually beneficial relationships
  • Getting leads on potential new customers
  • Taking a look at what your competitors are doing
  • Participating in educational sessions led by industry thought-leaders
  • Getting away from the office/store/shop and having a little fun

Taken separately, any of these objectives might seem to justify a trade show excursion for you (or perhaps a few of your deserving employees). But that still doesn’t necessarily mean you should attend. Here are three additional lines of inquiry are worth tackling:

  • What is the opportunity cost of attendance?
    • When you or members of your staff are at a trade show, someone’s regular duties will either go unexercised or must be undertaken by adding to the workload of other staff members. Are you raising the morale of some employees by lowering it for others?
    • Is there a chance that some customer service needs might not be met while staff is away? You don’t want to lose current clients for the mere potential of gaining new ones somewhere down the road.
    • Could the money budgeted for the trade show be better spent somewhere else? For example: going to a trade show vs. purchasing some new tool to improve individual productivity.

With careful forethought (and budgeting) these concerns could be allayed, but they should be given their due consideration.

  • Could the benefits of attending the trade show be gained in a more cost-effective, alternative manner?
    • For example: Do you really need to network with people from all over the country, when 95% of your business is local, or would a membership with a hometown civic or business organization work better?
    • Could a subscription to an industry publication or two be just as effective as walking around a trade show floor for a few hours a year?
    • Would an office party, or off-site team-building event do a better job of raising spirits within your company?

Once again, we don’t mean to diminish the value of trade shows or dissuade participation, but rather to encourage thoughtful comparative analysis.

  • Can you evaluate the return on your investment?

Whatever motivates you to attend a trade show, once you’ve made the decision to attend, be sure you have a plan and a process to get all the value from that event that you can. As you look over the list of things you expect to accomplish by attending a trade show, you should be able to foresee ways to measure success. Work through this question to gain impetus for tracking the contacts you meet, and for recording the things you learn with an idea of how to implement the new ideas. Conversely, if you can’t really see any way to quantify your trade show attendance, perhaps you want to rethink going.

One important consideration that absolutely shouldn’t be discounted, is that you may simply enjoy the spectacle, energy and camaraderie of trade shows. We’ve written this piece for people who are on the fence. If you’re a business owner who looks forward to trade shows, and if you’re in a position to attend, that’s really all that matters. Your instincts have served you well in the past and will likely so in this decision as well.

Here are a few other online articles about trade shows that you may want to check out:

Trade Show Marketing

13 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Trade Shows

Trade Show Check List

Tampa Bay public relations

Marketing as a New Year’s Resolution

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Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to grow your business? To do more marketing? To be more strategic? To work smarter, not harder? You’re not alone! Each year, our phones start ringing on January 2nd with clients ready to start off strong.

If you need support to refresh your brand, launch that new web site, generate new content, shoot new videos, design new marketing collateral, build relationships with the media, or just to keep you on track – we’re here for you. Let’s set up a meeting and discuss your resolutions!

Be More Awesome in 2016!

Trade Show Checklist from ADM Two

Tampa custom trade show booth design

ADM Two is the premier trade show display and museum exhibit company in Central Florida – and we are proud to call them a client, a vendor, and friends. Whether we need a quick banner stand or pop-up trade show booth, a one-of-a-kind custom display, or design and construction for a corporate interior, they have the talent and resources to make it happen. They’ve helped thousands of clients effectively design, build, set-up and tear-down trade show displays – and more than anyone else – they know how to stay organized to make the most out of an industry show. They’ve shared their tried-and-true checklist with us so we can share it with you.

And if you need assistance with a trade show booth, museum display or custom corporate interior, give them a call!

Trying to Remember it All

The moment you decide to participate in a trade show, start your trade show checklist. There are so many things to remember that the trade show checklist is not just important – it is essential for success. Failure to adhere to the trade show checklist could be disastrous.

We recommend breaking the trade show checklist down into sections. Below is a sample that may help you get started. Depending on your industry, you may need to add and subtract items and sections, but this list will give you a general idea of what your list will look like.

 

Marketing Materials

  • Method to collect leads (scanners, card collection, etc.)
  • Business cards
  • Brochures
  • Rack cards
  • Folders
  • Giveaways
  • Prizes

Staff

  • Business attire
  • Dinner wear for after parties or dinners during the event
  • Casual clothes for down time
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Workout clothes and/or swimsuit
  • Toiletries
  • Itinerary
  • Computer and charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • iPads or other devices to be used on the trade show floor

Trade Show Checklist

  • Graphics are professionally designed and exemplify your brand
  • Wires are hidden for aesthetic and safety purposes
  • Fabric signs are level and not wrinkly
  • All elements of the booth are where they should be
  • You have an area for storage space
  • Lighting, computer/television screens and all electronics are functioning properly
  • All equipment is safely in place
  • All electronics are either plugged in or fully charged

 

You can start to see that it is easy to forget small items. Your trade show planning should include a revisitation of the trade show checklist periodically, to ensure that you are covering all corners.

 

Check out some of our other articles to get ideas for trade show display graphics.