It’s a sad, sad story and one that I have heard many times: A company spends anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a local tabletop show to tens of thousands of dollars for a national trade show and ends up with little or nothing to show for it – not even a breakeven on their expenses. Of course, the business owner or marketing director for the company usually blames outside influences: attendance was off, the weather was bad, the quality of attendees was poor, not enough publicity for the show, the economy is down, a bad booth location, the sales team was off their game, etc….
In reality, most businesses don’t reap the rewards from their participation in a trade show because they failed to:
- have a system in place for attracting potential customers to their exhibit.
- qualify those people who visited their booth.
- follow up with those visitors who left contact information.
With the next trade show season kicking off January 3rd, now is the time to plan for a successful showing at a trade show in 2011.
In order to make the most of the time, effort and money spent on a trade show exhibit, we must approach each individual show as a complete marketing campaign in and of itself with a preparation segment, an exhibit segment and a follow-up segment. By doing this, we maximize the ability to reach our actual target market so that we can qualify those individuals who are prepared to do business with us now and to prime the pipeline for those who would consider doing business with us in the future.