Tradeshows and conferences – 5 simple steps to double the effect
At certain times of the year, we find ourselves in a “Trade fair season” in full bloom. After a few years of pandemic downturn to the event market, we are now back into meeting up at events again. Millions and again millions are invested in creating links between people and companies.
The fact that trade fairs are still around when in theory you could do the same thing in virtual meetings and social media networking, proves that real live face to face meeting is still important and needed.
5 steps to boost the return on invested time & money
If your company has decided to invest in your team going to a major trade fair, what should you do? As with any investment, your job is to maximise returns, go there and totally smash the audience and get the hottest prospects with you home as ever possible. Right?
Events are very expensive, your company pays a lot to have you at the fair. But most of all, teh opportunity cost of having you away from your normal job and customers must pay off!
Here are 5 simple steps that can help you maximise your return:
Set Objectives for yourselves
Set some very concrete goals, think about what are your primary targets with the event. Are you there to canvas for new prospects? Are you there to meet up with existing prospects or are you there to deepen existing relationships? Maybe you are there to develop channel?
Write down your goals and communicate in your team. Use your sales meeting to align the team around the purpose and goal of the event.
Rehearse effective responses
Go through and rehearse responses to some of the most common blockages. Make sure to write down a line that you can practice. Roleplaying is great to rehearse a standard answer that otherwise would feel awkward.
Typical situations could be:
Also rehearse how you interact and pass prospects between yourselves, sales to sales, sales to product specialist and back.
Prepare contacts and meetings ahead
Prepare before the event. Ask your team to set off some time to go through the participants lists, see which potential customers are there, which of your existing customers are there, competitors, partners. Try to leverage the event to set meetings with people that otherwise would be difficult to meet. Don’t fill your calendar with meetings that are easy to get any time you like. Set targets and follow up with your team before the event. Who has the most high value meetings planned?
Lead and support the team during the event
At the event, be present, coach and help, help your team do the right thing, and to get all encounters captured in short reports and notes to help you remember who was who after the event. Tactical tips:
Follow up fast – turn into Opportunity
It cannot be stressed enough, take care of the leads within few days after the event. We are all exhausted after the event, but your leads and all those thrilling conversations start fading away from peoples memory very fast. You only have a few days before the probability to close something has fallen by at least half. Because you will be tired after the event, you may want to plan the following already before the event:
This is a very simple process, but as the manager of the team, your role and active leadership and coaching during the event is very important for the success of the team. There are many distractions, and leaders who leave it up to the team members to manage time and contacts by themselves are often surprised by how different people act, and many times come back home disappointed.