* Quick tips for more effectiveperformance My Feet Are KILLING ME! Trade shows are hard work, especially at the end of the day, when traffic is slow and your feet hurt. Here are a few ideas to keep your booth staff energized:
1 Stress personal goals. The key ingredient for anyone to be motivated to work a booth is simple: They need to want to be there. So make sure each staff member has at least one personal goal. Encourage staff to share their goals with others during pre-show meetings. Then, at debriefing meetings, ask them to report on their achievements.
2 Inspire and reward good work. Negativity filters down from the top. Luckily, the opposite also applies: When top managers support and attend trade shows, their enthusiasm is contagious. You'll get remarkable results by letting the team know what is expected of them at the show and then providing any training necessary for them to do their jobs effectively. Then reward them with a personal "thank you" and a gift or dinner on the town.
3 Encourage team spirit.Everyone in the booth should be working together as a team, helping each other out whenever and wherever necessary. Schedule meetings before the show so that they can get acquainted, develop a level of trust, and get to know and understand each other's strengths Make sure everyone understands the company's exhibiting goals. At end-of-the-day review sessions, encourage team members to give and receive feedback from their colleagues, with the goal of developing ways to improve past performance and make each day better than the previous one.
Ten Mistakes Exhibitors Make Before the Show 1 Failing to set exhibiting goals. Know what you want to accomplish to help you plan your theme, the booth layout and display, graphics, product displays, premiums, literature, etc. Your exhibiting goals should complement your corporate marketing objectives.
2 Forgetting to read the exhibitor manual. Everything you need to know is there - show schedules, contractor information, registration, service order forms, electrical service, floor plans and exhibit specs, shipping and freight services, housing info, and advertising and promotion.
3 Leaving graphics to the last minute. Rush, change, and overtime charges will add significantly to your bottom line. Plan your graphics six to eight weeks before showtime.
4 Neglecting to prepare booth staff. These team members are your ambassadors and should be well-trained beforehand.
During the Show 5 Ignoring visitors' needs.
6 Handing out literature and premiums. Literature acts as a barrier to conversation. And chances are, anything you hand out will be discarded at the first opportunity.
7 Using inexperienced demonstrators. Make sure that demonstrators are familiar with the equipment, and know how to conduct the assigned demonstrations.
8 Overcrowding the booth with company representatives. Have strict rules regarding employees visiting the show, and insist that staffers not scheduled for booth duty stay away until their assigned time.
After the Show 9 Ignoring lead follow-up. The longer leads are left unattended, the colder they become. Before the show, establish how leads will be handled, set timelines for follow-up, and make sales reps accountable for leads given to them.
10 Overlooking show evaluation. Each show has its own idiosyncrasies and obstacles. Invest the time with your staff immediately after each show to evaluate the results.
www.isp-planet.com/marketing/tradeshow.html Looking for trade show giveaways? Need expert advice in prospecting? This site offers discussion threads and with hundreds of fresh ideas.
www.tradeshowsuccess.com Susan A. Friedman, the Trade Show Coach, offers free advice (like the motivational tips on the previous page) on increasing your exhibiting success and avoiding common mistakes.
www.ceir.org The Center for Exhibition Research (see "Did You Know") has statistics, analysis of industry trends, and advice from the experts.
www.tsea.org The Trade Show Exhibitors' Association provides information to marketing and management professionals who use exhibits to promote and sell their products, both domestically and abroad.
www.exhibitornet.com Exhibitor Magazine's Web site offers articles and tips on all aspects of the industry. Click on "Web Wonders" for more links to trade show information on the Web.
These findings from the Center for Exhibition Research (www.ceir.org) will help you get more from your trade show investment.
- Exhibitions are second only to direct sales in generating sales for most companies. Trade show sales beat comparative spending on advertising, direct mail, public relations, and marketing efforts.
- Word of mouth is the best way attract executive decision makers to your booth.
- Of all leads generated at trade shows, 80% are lost due to lack of exhibitor follow-up.
- High-level attendees are more likely to speak to upper managers than to salespeople at trade show booths.
- Don't just collect business cards, write on them - especially follow-up times discussed, suggests ISP Marketing (www.isp-planet.com). You'll need these notes later, when you're trying to figure out who was who.
- When it comes to technology, less can be more. If you have a great-looking booth that's not linked to your product or service, says The Sullivan Group, a Houston Texas - based corporate event and meeting production company (www.sullivan-group.com), attendees will walk away remembering the cool effects and nothing about what you offer. Try listing five adjectives describing how you want attendees to feel about your brand, and use that as a guide for booth design, says Showtime Inc. (www.showtimeinc.com), based in Paulsboro, New Jersey. Showtime has a word for integrating corporate vision into your trade show exhibit: Brandscaping[TM].
- Outfit your booth with round tables instead of square ones. According to Alpha, specialists in displays, graphics, and promotional items (www.alpha-online.com), squares and rectangles set up psychological barriers. Round tables and counters are friendlier and more inviting.