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[WRE | ADVISOR]


Lifting Gear Hire’s


exhibit at ConExpo 2017 with NASCAR’s Blake Koch


who recently attended a healthcare-related trade show, listened to a panel discuss the effectiveness of room drops. “Tey had a panel of healthcare professionals (trade


show attendees) who said that room drops are the very best opportunity to communicate with them pre-show. But, it’s important to remember that every attendee is different— their communication preferences will vary so an exhibitor’s communication timing/methods should vary too.” She recommends a few pieces of collateral that should


always be available at a booth space: (1) event-specific business cards


(2) a quick and easy overview of the company, typically as an oversized postcard or similar


(3) one-sheets to explain each product/service or to explain how they help each type of attendee (depending on the event)


Davis also feels that most attendees like to have something tangible to take with them vs. waiting to email information during/after the trade show. “But in most cases, they don’t want the company’s standard, long-term literature,” she said. “It should be customized for the event/audience.” Post show, vendors might consider follow-up with potential qualified leads. “Follow up is the key to a successful transition between trade-show contacts and long-term contacts,” she indicated—recommending a series of three to seven “touches” within two weeks after a trade show (with the first touch occurring within 24-48 hours) for all booth visitors/event contacts.


The Squad


An exhibitor can have all the right marketing materials and pre/post-show planning, but without the right team on site, full engagement and positive impressions may not be met. “In order to create the right mix, exhibitors need to


figure out who is best qualified to attend to each visitor’s needs and to best represent their company,” Davis said. A


22 SEPTEMBER–OCTOBER 2018 WIRE ROPE EXCHANGE


good rule of thumb, she said, is to remember that, typically, for every 100 square feet of booth space, two to three representatives are needed.


She also recommends separate trade show training, as the strategic actions required to be successful in the trade show environment are different from those that work at home (in day-to-day business efforts). “Despite the impact that statistics show booth staffers (and other team members) can have on a company’s reputation and results, most professionals do not receive formal trade-show training and, in my opinion, that is a mistake.”


Tracking Success


Managing the return of investment for a trade show is important, but it can also be difficult. To sort through confusion, one approach Davis recommends is to calculate “baby steps” throughout the sales process. She explained: “If an exhibitor’s sales team is familiar with their process for finding and converting leads to sales, they can compare the cost associated with each milestone (e.g., identifying the correct contact, building rapport and understanding their business, scheduling a demo or meeting, completing that demo or meeting, building a quote, etc.) to those same milestones as they’re achieved at a trade show.”


In other words, if it costs X amount of dollars and takes Y amount of time to identify the right contact in real life, how does that compare to that same process at a trade show? “Typically, these savings alone are pretty compelling,” Davis maintained.


Ultimately, positive impressions come in all shapes and sizes. LGH’s trade show tactics proves this to be true. For Clark’s team, sometimes those impressions include an eight-inch-tall stuffed animal named Gordy. “He’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex with, as you might imagine, very short arms,” Clark mused. “Simply put, Gordy needs help to lift gear higher. He’s popular with kids—maybe not as much with the iron workers and boilermakers.” y


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