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Ed Expo Exhibitor Success & ROI Center

 Webinar Downloads

Date/Time: Title Workbook Webinar
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
First-Time Ed Expo Exhibitor Web-Briefing:
How to Have a Productive and Positive Exhibiting Experience
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EST
Driving Qualified Booth Traffic:
How to Attract Enough of the Right Attendees to Your Ed Expo Exhibit

 Webinar Articles

Pre-Show Marketing From Leads to Sales Staffing for Success Exhibiting Success
Exhibit Measurement Lead Management Planning to Win  

High-Impact Pre-Show Marketing:

How to Identify and Attract Enough of the Right Visitors to Your Exhibit

Successful exhibitors know that the competition for the attendee's limited time on the exhibit floor is fierce. To get their fair share of booth traffic they do not just rent space, show up and hope people find them. They use targeted pre-show marketing to get "in the mind" and "on the agenda" of the right attendees before the show opens.

    Consider these exhibition industry facts:
  1. 1.  The average tradeshow attendee will visit approximately 26 exhibitors.
  2. 2.  76% of attendees arrive with an agenda of exhibitors they plan to visit.
  3. 3.  As many as 3 out of 4 exhibit visits are preplanned.
  4. 4.  Less than 20% of exhibitors utilize targeted pre-show marketing campaigns.
So how do you get on the attendees "must see" list? It's easier than you think.

Below are four steps to help you fill your booth with qualified, interested buyers.

Step 1.  Invest 15% or more of your total show budget toward pre-show marketing.

The average exhibitor allocates just 6% of their show budget toward pre-show marketing. Don't do what the average is doing, most aren't getting results. Of all the things you will spend money on, pre-show marketing is one of the most important. Don’t skimp in this critical area. It's often the difference between a busy exhibit and standing around watching people pass by in the aisles.

Step 2.  Identify who you want to visit your exhibit and build target visitor lists.

Start in-house with your sales team and your distribution channels. Build a list of customers and current prospects you would like to visit your exhibit. Include anyone who has inquired about your products or services over the last 12 months. Ask yourself, "What types of companies and what job functions/titles do we want to visit our exhibit?"

Be sure to talk to show management to about renting attendee lists for pre-registered attendees, post-show and previous show attendees and association member lists. Check with the key trade publications that serve the industry for lists.

Step 3.  Give attendees a compelling reason to visit your exhibit.

Don't just pitch products and services – focus on educating, solving problems, creating opportunities, and delivering meaningful value from a visit to your exhibit. Analyze your company, products and services carefully. What is your value proposition? What do you want to teach visitors? What problems do you solve? What opportunities do you create? What do you do better than your competition?

Use powerful visual images and captivate attendee's interest with provocative benefit and ROI focused headlines like: "Learn how to avoid single biggest problem radiology equipment." Everyone is interested in learning, solving problems, reducing costs, improving results and getting more value. Tell them specifically how you can help and they will come running to your exhibit.

Step 4.  Use a combination of media to execute an integrated pre-show marketing campaign.

An effective pre-show marketing campaign integrates multiple media to touch prospective visitors at least three times before the show opens. Start with mass media like print advertising and publicity in industry journals. Trade publications and show specific publications like the official show directory. Then, add one-to-one media like mailing personal letters of invitation, postcards and formal invitations. Be sure to include an exhibit pass, when available. Put the finishing touch on your program with social media and more personal media like email and personal phone calls. To increase response, offer a reward for responding like entry into a contest or better yet, invite them to your booth to pick-up a free educational gift.

With a little creative thought, some basic planning, and focused execution you can have a booth full of interested and qualified buyers. All it takes is targeted pre-show marketing.

From Leads to Sales:

How to Develop a “Closed Loop” Lead Management System

For most exhibitors, the real product of a tradeshow is leads and most companies exhibiting return on investment is tied up in their leads. Knowing this you would think all exhibitors follow-up on their leads. Not so. Exhibition industry research finds that 87% of leads captured at a tradeshow are never effectively followed-up. This is a huge problem costing exhibitors hundreds of millions of dollars in unrealized business opportunities. It also presents a great opportunity for exhibitors who do follow-up.

Here are 7 steps that can help you create a “closed loop” lead management system so your company can follow-up and convert more leads to sales.

CloseBelow are four steps to help you fill your booth with qualified, interested buyers.

1. Define what is and isn’t a lead

A few words scribbled on a business card or just swiping an attendee’s badge is not a qualified lead. There are four criteria to a qualified lead: 1. personal interaction, 2. key questions asked, 3. answers documented, 4. a next step has been identified and agreed upon by the visitor.

2. Set specific lead goals

To set a lead goal, multiply the number of show hours by the number of staff working your booth. (20 hours x 4 staff = 80 staff hours) Next, multiply staff hours by a conservative number of target interactions per staffer/per hour and person. (80 x staff hours x 4 interactions per hour = 320 total interactions) Finally, multiply total interactions by .25 to determine your lead goal. (320 x .25 = 80 qualified leads) Once you’ve established your lead goal be sure to communicate it to your staff and make them accountable for achieving the goal. You might even consider creating daily contests to increase staff focus even more.

3. Identify the best information you could capture

Besides general contact information like name, company, address, phone, fax and email, “What information, if captured, would help you better understand and qualify the opportunity?” Your answers might include familiarity with your company, product or service, problems they are having, current supplier or method of dealing with the problem, decision team members, decision process, budget, time frame, next action step and so on. Ask your sales and marketing staff for input to identify the most relevant information.

Use powerful visual images and captivate attendee's interest with provocative benefit and ROI focused headlines like: "Learn how to avoid single biggest problem radiology equipment." Everyone is interested in learning, solving problems, reducing costs, improving results and getting more value. Tell them specifically how you can help and they will come running to your exhibit.

4. Design a custom lead capture device

Most shows offer an electronic lead capture device. Be sure to use it – even if it costs a little extra. As an adjunct to the capture device, consider creating your own custom hand held lead form. It can act as a prompt for your staff on what questions to ask and serve as a quick and easy place to capture important visitor information.

5. Assign a lead captain

Someone should be assigned the responsibility of monitoring lead count and quality at the end of a shift and/or end of the day.

6. Quickly route leads

You need to get the leads to the people who will follow-up on them quickly. Time is of the essence. The value of a lead diminishes by 15% per week. Use your CRM system, phone calls, email and/or fax to get leads to the right people fast.

7. Create a lead reporting process

The most critical element in a closed loop lead management process is a lead reporting system that your reps and/or distributors can use to inform you of what becomes of the leads they receive. If your company uses a CRM system you can probably enter leads and monitor progress through your system. If not, you need to create another method. Entering leads into an Excel spreadsheet and e-mailing it to your reps can be very effective. Just make sure you ask for lead progress and sales conversion at specific timeframes like 60, 90 and 180 days after the show.

The most important thing to remember is that your exhibiting ROI is usually hidden in your leads. By setting specific lead goals, taking better quality leads, quickly routing leads to the right people, and providing them with a simple and easy to use reporting process, you will see a lot more of your show leads convert to sales. And that is the bottom line.

Exhibit Measurement Made Easy:

How to Measure Exhibiting Results and Return on Investment

As we’ve said all along, a tradeshow is a marketing and sales investment. As with any investment, you should expect a return on that investment. The question is “Are you getting a return on your exhibiting investment?” For most exhibitors, the answer is either “we don’t know” or “no”. When it comes to investing human and financial capital, both of these answers are unacceptable. The primary reason why many exhibitors answer this way is the lack of an exhibit measurement process.

The two primary reasons for exhibit measurement are to 1.) justify the investment and 2.) gather information to make your investment more profitable. A good measurement system can help you determine whether you should continue exhibiting at a specific show, and if so to what degree. It can help you identify your exhibit program’s strengths and weaknesses. It can provide benchmarks for comparing show versus show, show versus last show, and even shows compared to other sales and marketing media. If you’re going to win the game of exhibiting you must have a score keeping process.

Exhibiting measurement can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. The specific metrics you use to measure will be determined by your exhibiting objectives.

Here are six basic measurements that almost every company should be measuring:

1. Return on Objectives

What specific goals were you pursuing and what progress did you make toward those goals?

2. Exhibit Budget versus Actual

What was your total exhibiting budget and what did you actually spend?

3. At & Post-show Sales Written

How many orders and what was the total dollar amount of orders written at and after the event? Ideally, you should measure post-show sales at the 90 and 180 day points, or longer if you have a long sales cycle. Also take into consideration the frequency of the show.

4. Quantity and Quality of Leads

How many leads did you capture? How many were A – B – C leads? What is the estimated total sales value of the leads?

5. Cost Per Lead

What was your cost per lead? Divide total number of leads captured by total show investment to determine this number.

6. Cost Per Interaction

What did it cost you to generate a face-to face contact? To determine this number simply multiply your total lead count by 2.4. This will give you a pretty accurate method way of determining your total booth traffic. Then divide total show investment by estimated total booth traffic.

These six basic metrics are by no means are all that could and should be measured, but they are a very solid starting point. They will give you a very good picture of whether you are winning the game of exhibiting.

There is one final metric that all exhibitors should attempt to measure – the elusive exhibiting Return on Investment. To determine ROI accurately you must first be able to track at-show and post-sale revenue. Once you have that, simply follow the formula below:

Here’s a Return on Investment example:
  •  Total post-show sales from exhibit leads:$250,000
  •  Less cost of sales or gross margin:-190,000
  •  Equals Gross Exhibit Profit:$60,000
  •  Less Exhibiting Costs:$20,000
  •  Equals Net Exhibit Profit:$40,000
  •  Net Exhibit Profit $40,000/Exhibit Costs$20,000 = 200% ROI

And there you have it! In this example, every dollar invested in exhibiting is producing a 200% return on investment. Where else could you invest your money and get that kind of return on investment? What would it mean to your company, and to you personally, if you could convert your tradeshow program from “expensive appearances” into “profit centers”? You may rest assured that the information presented in this series of articles provides a direct path to making tradeshows payoff. It is up to you to put it to work.