Pre-Show Activities

Category Archives:Pre-Show Activities

Trade show lead capture methods

Paper Versus Paperless – Determine Your Ideal Trade Show Lead Capture Method

Good old-fashioned paper forms, fancy lead retrieval systems, and sophisticated computer-based applications all offer lead capture capabilities at a trade show. But which method works best for your company? For exhibit staffers who habitually lose documents as soon as paper falls on their desk, a lead retrieval system may be preferable. On the other hand, if your staffers resort to the “hunt-and-peck” method of typing, then a paper form might be more ideal. All three types of lead capture methods exhibit advantages and drawbacks. It’s time to weigh your options.

Paper forms are a flexible, low-cost and convenient trade show lead capture method. While paper forms may seem antiquated to some exhibitors, paper forms don’t rely on computers and/or internet connections, both of which can fail at the most inopportune time at a show. Booth staffers can also attach the prospect’s business card directly to the form, optimizing time and future lead tracking.

If your company chooses to implement a paper-based system trade how lead capture system, be certain to take advantage of check boxes to save time for everyone. Categories such as current customer, preferred contact method, purchase time frame, budget, followup plan, buying authority, product/service interest, and relationship all lend themselves to check boxes. You can also save time by pre-printing items on the form, including trade show name, date and location. Arrange your questions on the form in the same order as your database program to be kind to your eyes and improve accuracy when entering data after the show. If you choose the paper route, leave plenty of room for sprawling handwriting and some space for comments. Many managers opt for a tall, narrow form, such as 5” by 8” (think of a standard 8.5” by 11” piece of paper, with two forms printed per page). Paper forms are adaptable, easy to manage, and don’t require any special equipment – other than a pen.

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Trade show graphics tips

Grab Them With Great Trade Show Graphics

You have precious few seconds to capture the attention of trade show visitors. In the chaos of colours, scents, lights, and sounds present at a typical trade show, how will your company’s trade show graphics stand out in an arresting and convincing manner? Consider the following helpful hints as you contemplate your trade show graphics.

Text in your trade show graphics and signage must be kept to an absolute minimum. Few visitors take time to read the fine print, and instead it’s best to use pictures whenever possible to convey your message. Keep in mind that photography is always preferable to illustrations, as photos lend more credibility and have more impact. If you must have some copy, be certain the copy focuses on the buyer, stresses the benefits of your product or service, and uses strong action words. You are trying to deliver a convincing, meaningful message to potential customers, so messages must be brief and direct, and graphics must be simple and compelling.

Select one or two striking visuals, instead of several smaller graphics. Avoid clutter – it’s far more effective to have a single focal point to draw visitors. Keep your graphics clean and uncomplicated, and make them a powerful reflection of your company. Include your company logo to establish brand identity too.

What about colour? Blues, greens and whites are cool colours that look professional. Oranges, reds, and yellows are the attention-grabbers. Be wary of overwhelming visitors with these strong colours, though, unless they are an extension of your company’s image, marketing messages or sales efforts.

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Finding the right trade show for you

Finding A Trade Show That’s Right For You

Trade show overload can be a real hindrance to companies. A lot of time, effort and financial resources are invested in preparation and attendance. Therefore, it makes sense to only attend trade shows that will be productive, beneficial and profitable for your company. So how do you know which shows will provide the best return for your time and financial investment?

First and foremost, it is imperative to quantify your trade show goals and measurable objectives. Objectives must be both meaningful and measurable, such as the following:

  • How many leads or sales do you wish to generate?
  • Do you wish to secure media exposure, industry trend data, or other details?
  • Engage current customers, initiate new contacts, reach future key decision makers?
  • Introduce a new product or service?
  • Obtain feedback from booth visitors?
  • Increase understanding of marketplace conditions?

Be certain to put your objectives in writing, as written statements help you to clarify your planning process. The added benefit of quantifiable objectives is that these provide a benchmark of success against which future trade show participation can be measured and compared. What about a goal of attracting 10% of the total trade show attendees to your booth to demonstrate your new product, or obtaining 100 requests for literature? These goals are real and measurable. Furthermore, these specific goals can provide essential guidelines for staff participating in the design, implementation and post-show evaluation.

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